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Fitosociologia numero 48 (1)

pag. 23-40: Syntaxonomic revision of the Arrhenatherum elatius grasslands of central Italy

M. Allegrezza & E. Biondi

Department of Environmental and Crop Sciences, Marche Polytechnic University, I-60131 Ancona, Italy, e-mail: m.allegrezza@univpm.it, e.biondi@univpm.it

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abstract

A phytosociological study of the Arrhenatherum elatius grasslands of central Italy is here presented. These vegetation types can be found from subcoastal to montane areas, and they have an ecology that has aspects that are mesophilous to mesohygrophilous. These grasslands are characterised by high species diversity and they have been maintained by human activities like mowing and fertilising, and sometimes irrigation. An examination of the various aspects of these grasslands that have already been described in Italy was carried out, and a phytosociological table of 45 relevés was constructed, 16 of which were unpublished, and 29 of which come from already published phytosociological tables. The analysis of this table leads to our proposal of the new alliance Ranunculo neapolitani-Arrhenatherion elatioris, for which the new association Ranunculo neapolitani-Arrhenatheretum elatioris is indicated as the type association. This new alliance brings together all of the Arrhenatherum elatius grasslands in central Italy, from the upper mesotemperate to the lower supratemperate bioclimatic belts, with penetration into the mesomediterranean bioclimatic belts, although only under compensatory edaphic conditions. The proposed alliance is the central Italian vicariant of the central European alliance of Arrhenatherion elatioris Koch 1926.

keywords

mowed grasslands, phytosociology, Arrhenatherion elatioris, Ranunculo neapolitani-Arrhenatherion elatioris, central Italy