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Plant Sociology 51 (1) 2014

pag. 137-147: The role of Potential Natural Vegetation for Natura 2000 Habitat monitoring

D. Gigante, F. Maneli & R. Venanzoni

Department of Chemistry, Biology and Biotechnology, University of Perugia, Borgo XX giugno 74, I-06121 Perugia, Italy

doi: 10.7338/pls2014511/07

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In the present paper, some criteria for evaluating the intrinsic and local relevance of Annex I Habitats (Dir. 92/43/EEC) are discussed with reference to the concept of Potential Natural Vegetation and Vegetation Series. We pointed out some phytosociological aspects suitable to be used for assessing the intrinsic value of Habitats and their real importance contextualized in the actual, current biodiversity of a given territory. We introduced the
concept of Potential Natural Vegetation as a robust tool to evaluate the representativity and the gaps of the conservation framework and its suitability in safeguarding the actual and potential biodiversity of a territory. On the ground of a case study in Central Italy, we evaluated the effectiveness of Natura 2000 Network in its current configuration at regional scale, profiting from the informations included in the concept of Vegetation Series. The regional scale appeared to be suitable for a realistic evaluation of where, when and what should be done for Habitat management and conservation.


92/43/EEC Directive, gap analysis, Italy, land use, management, phytosociology, PNV, Umbria, Vegetation Series