Val Ferret, Courmayeur - Caltha palustris L.
S. Brullo & S. Sciandrello
The vegetation of the lake “Biviere di Gela” (Southern Sicily). The floristic and phytosociological investigations regarding the “Biviere di Gela”, which is one of few lakeoccuring along the Sicilian coasts, are presented. The flora counts a rich pool of fen species represented mainly by helophytes, hydrophytes and therophytes, while the phanerophytes are very rare. Among them Tamarix arborea, Chenopodium botryoides, Leptochloa fusca ssp. uninervia, Cyperus alopecuroides, are very significative, because in Sicily they are known only for this locality. Phytosociologically, the plant communities are arranged along the lakeshore according to well precise dynamic successions, as linked to soil type and moisture gradient. Particularly, the vegetation is represented by flooded communities of Potametea (Potametum pectinati), helophytic communities of Phragmition (Phragmitetum communis, Typhetum angustifoliae,Typhetum latifoliae, Typho-Schoenoplectum tabernaemontani), of Scirpion compacti (Scirpetum compacto-littoralis, Schoenoplecto litorali-Cyperetum distachyi, Bolboschoeno compacti-Cyperetum alopecuroidis) and of Magnocaricion (Caricetum otrubae). The more sandy soils are colonized by same communities of Juncetea maritimi (Juncetum maritimo-acuti, Imperato-Juncetum litoralis), while the places with well nitrified soils are colonizzed by communities of Galio-Urticetea (Calystegio silvaticae-Arundinetum donacis), of Molinio-Arrhenatheretea (Lippio nodiflorae-Panicetum repentis), and of Isoeto-Nanojuncetea (Heleochloo-Chenopodietum botryoidis).In the outer bank same shrubby communities are frequent, as the bush-lands of Nerio-Tamaricetea (Tamaricetum africano-arboreae) and that ones of Rhamno-Prunetea. On the whole, this lake represents a biotope of remarkable naturalistic and landscape value, both it’s floristic-phytosociological aspects and faunistic ones, as it is a damp habitat characterized by a rich sedentary and migratory avifauna. At present, it is a site of Community importance (S.I.C.), and a Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and a Ramsar site. All these conservation obligations, a part from to emphasize the environmental value, attend to a more efficient action of preservation and defence of this important biotope.
Biviere of Gela, flora, nature presevation, Sicily, vegetation