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Plant Sociology 49 (1) 2012

pag. 5-37: Diagnosis and syntaxonomic interpretation of Annex I Habitats (Dir. 92/43/EEC) in Italy at the alliance level

E. Biondi1, S. Burrascano2, S. Casavecchia1, R. Copiz2, E. Del Vico2, D. Galdenzi1, D. Gigante3, C. Lasen4, G. Spampinato5, R. Venanzoni3, L. Zivkovic1 & C. Blasi2

1Dip. Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Ambientali, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Brecce Bianche - I-60131 Ancona

2Dip. Biologia Ambientale, Università “La Sapienza” - Piazzale Aldo Moro 5 - I-00185 Roma

3Dip. Biologia Applicata, Università degli Studi di Perugia, Borgo XX giugno, 74 - I-06121 Perugia

4Via Mutten, 27, I-32032 Arson di Feltre (BL)

5Dip. Scienze e Tecnologie Agro-Forestali ed Ambientali, Università Mediterranea di Reggio Calabria, Località Feo di Vito - I-89124 Reggio Calabria

doi: 10.7338/pls2012491/01

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Starting from the recently produced Italian Habitats interpretation Manual (http://vnr.unipg.it/habitat), a thorough diagnosis of the Annex I Habitats recorded in the Italian territory is reported, selecting the alliance level as the most suitable standard phytosociological rank for a detailed nationwide overview. In order to solve a number of well-known problems, arising from the definitions reported in the European EUR/27 Manual, each Habitat has been assigned a short, exhaustive although concise diagnostic sentences which contains its most significant ecologic features, with specific reference to the peculiarities of the Italian territory. Biogeographic, synecological (mainly bioclimatic, morphological, geologic/edaphic), structural and floristic characteristics of each Habitat are pointed out. When the rarity or vulnerability status has been considered worthy of priority at the national scale, it has been indicated.
The 131 Habitats listed for Italy, which represent only partially the Italian biodiversity, have been referred to 268 alliances. A complete syntaxonomic framework is reported in order to offer a robust although still improvable phytosociological ground. The paper aims at standing as a reference document for Natura 2000 knowledge and management in Italy; it also represents a large-scale, expert-revised tool to allow supra-national comparisons and support future implementation of the Annex I.


biodiversity, biogeography, Habitat Directive, Natura 2000, phytosociology, syntaxonomy, vegetation