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Fitosociologia numero 48 (1)

pag. 41-52: Integrated tools and methods for the analysis of agro-ecosystem’s functionality through vegetational investigations.

M. Rismondo, A. Lancioni & F. Taffetani

Department of Environmental Sciences and Vegetal Productions, Polytechnic University of Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, 60131, Ancona, Italy; email: f.taffetani@univpm.it

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abstract

The floristic-vegetational indexes system proposed by Taffetani & Rismondo (2009) is here integrated and improved with some recent practical examples.
The method is based on the integration and the reprocessing of data coming from vegetation studies and information stored inside two databases that have been set-up for this purpose. This method was created for the analysis of the ecological functionality of agro-ecosystems and it allows measurement of the evolutive level and ecological characteristics of the individual phytocoenoses. Moreover, it allows evaluations of the conservation status of specific rural contexts, comparisons of the effects of different land management practices, and quantification of the value of the ecosystem services. This is thus a method for the correct application of the Habitat Directive 92/43/CEE and for the identification of HNV Farmland Areas.
This paper presents updates concerning the databases and some indexes. These modifications arise from the need to make the analysis model more flexible and effective, and to improve the analytical structure of the system. We provide here an overall description of the structure of the two databases and of their relationships, together with all indexes included in the analytical system.
Potential applications of the system, concerning the identification of areas with the best, or the worst, conservation status and of the most appropriate management techniques for the conservation of agro-biodiversity, are showed with practical examples.

keywords

Phytosociology, agro-ecosystem, floristic-vegetational indexes, databases, biodiversity