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Plant Sociology 50 (2) 2013

pag. 47-56: Application of the floristic-vegetational indexes system for the evaluation of the environmental quality of a semi-natural area of the Po Valley (Piacenza, Italy)

L. Giupponi1, C. Corti1, P. Manfredi2, C. Cassinari3

1Istituto di Agronomia, Genetica e Coltivazioni erbacee, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, via Emilia Parmense 84, I-29122 Piacenza, Italy
2m.c.m. Ecosistemi s.r.l., località Faggiola s.n.c., I-29027 Gariga di Podenzano, Piacenza, Italy
3Istituto di Chimica Agraria ed Ambientale, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, via Emilia Parmense 84, I-29122 Piacenza, Italy

doi: 10.7338/pls2013502/03

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abstract

The floristic-vegetational indexes proposed by Taffetani & Rismondo (2009) and updated by Rismondo et al. (2011) were used to assess the environmental quality of a semi-natural area located on the outskirts of Piacenza (Emilia-Romagna, Italy), the site of a closed landfill of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW). This method was created and perfected to analyze the ecological functionality of agro-ecosystems and permits simple and rapid measurement of the ecological characteristics and grade of dynamic evolution of the phytocoenoses. These indexes were applied to the vegetation of the different sectors that make up the study area and from the results obtained it was possible to identify those with the worst environmental quality and to formulate some proposals for action aimed at improving them environmentally. In particular an interruption in the evolution of the landfill vegetation was found, due to the chemical-physical characteristics of the cover soil which is compact and of limited depth. The application of the Taffetani & Rismondo (2009) indexes to a real case has also allowed evaluation of their practicality and the information content obtained.

keywords

agro-ecosystems, floristic-vegetational indexes, landfill, maturity, phytosociology, Po valley, restoration