The vegetation and plant landscape of Monte San Vicino’s mountain group (Central Apennines). Here is presented a phytosociological study of the vegetation and the plant landscape of the mountain group of Monte San Vicino. The vegetational typologies have been analysed through the correlation with the lithological, geomorphological and climatic characteristics of the area. The mountain chain of Monte San Vicino is part of the Marche ridge and in the north and north-west is bound by the Esino River Valley (Gola delle Rossa), in the south by the Potenza River Valley, in the east by the Laga Basin and the outer Marche Bacin and in the west by the Camerino synclinorium. The highest peaks are found in the central part of the ridge (along the anticline axis), and include Monte San Vicino as the highest of the ridge (1485 metres a.s.l.). The chain is mainly made up of calcareous lithotypes
belonging to the formations of the Umbria-Marche series while the turbidite lithology (various layers of sandstone and clay) from the Miocene, surfaces along the eastern and southern edges of the ridge. The processing of temperature and precipitation data indicates a temperate oceanic macrobioclimate, of the submediterranean variant, with two bioclimatic belts: hilly and montane.
The numerous vegetation typologies found in the territory belong to 19 different vegetation classes and are here presented on the basis of their physiognomic and structural characteristics. The following new associations have been described: Hieracio racemosi-Fagetum sylvaticae, Cyclamino hederifolii-Castaneetum sativae, Roso sempervirentis-Cercidetum siliquastri, Junipero communis-Ericetum arboreae, Rhamnetum infectorii-fallacis, Digitalidi micranthae-Peucedanetum verticillaris, Ranunculo lanuginosi-Aconitetum neapolitani, Geranio sanguinei-Paeonietum villosae, Hieracio racemosi-Luzuletum sylvaticae, Festuco circummediterraneae-Arrhenatheretum elatioris and Saturejo montanae-Cistetum eriocephali. To these can
be added numerous newly defined subassociations and variants of existing syntaxa. Furthermore, the individualization of the dynamic relationships between the different plant associations found has allowed the reconstruction of the vegetation series. The integration of these series results in the main landscape units present in the mountain group of San Vicino. The geosigmetum of the montane bioclimatic belt is represented by the basophilous microseries of Sesleria apennina (Carici humilis-Seslerieto apenninae sigmetum) while the submontane belt of the ridge is represented by the following series: the climatophilous, basophilous series of Fagus sylvatica on Calcare Massiccio and Maiolica (Lathyro veneti-Fageto sylvaticaeFagus sylvatica on Calcari diasprini (Hieracio racemosi-Fageto sylvaticae sigmetum).
In the high-hilly bioclimatic belt of the ridge the geosigmetum is represented by two climatophilous series: the basophilous series of Ostrya carpinifolia (Scutellario columnae-Ostryeto carpinifoliae sigmetum) on the Maiolica, that in warmer slopes is replaced by the edaphoxerophilous series of Quercus ilex (Cephalanthero-Querceto ilicis sigmetum), and the neutro-basophilous series of Quercus cerris (Aceri obtusati-Querceto cerridis sigmetum) on the Marne a Fucoidi, on the Rosso Ammonitico and on the Calcari diasprini substrata.
Along the slopes belonging to the hilly bioclimatic belt, featuring a more significant mediterranean influence, are present two sub-mediterranean climatophilous series: the basophilous of Ostrya carpinifolia (Asparago acutifolii-Ostryeto carpinifoliaeQuercus cerris (Lonicero xylostei-Querceto cerridis loniceretosum etruscae sigmetum), and two edaphoxerophilous series: of Quercus ilex (Fraxino orni-Querceto ilicis sigmetum) and of Quercus pubescens (Roso sempervirentis-Querceto pubescentis cotinetosum coggygriae sigmetum).
The geosigmetum of the hilly bioclimatic belt of the edges of the ridge characterised by terrigenous lithotypes (sandy-arenaceous substrata, sandy colluviums, and sandy-lime colluviums) is made up of the following series: the edaphoxerophilous neutro-basophilous one of Quercus pubescens (Peucedano cervariae-Querceto pubescentis ruscetosum aculeati sigmetum), the climatophilous subacidophilous one of Quercus cerris (Aceri obtusati-Querceto cerridis ericetosum arboreae sigmetum), the edaphomesophilous one of Castanea sativa (Cyclamino hederifolii-Castaneeto sativae sigmetum) and the edaphomesophilous one of Ostrya carpinifolia (Scutellario columnae-Ostryeto carpinifoliae prunetosum avium sigmetum).
On the gravely-sandy alluvial terraces is present the climatophilous neutrobasophilous series of Quercus pubescens (Peucedano cervariae-Querceto
biodiversity, central Apennines, Italy, vegetation, landscape ecology, phytosociology, sinphytosociology, sintaxonomy