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Plant Sociology numero 51(2)

pag. 57-68: The Daphne sericea Vahl vegetation in the Gargano promontory (Southern Italy)

E. Biondi, N. Biscotti, S. Pesaresi & S. Casavecchia

Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences (D3A), Marche Polytechnic University, Via Brecce Bianche, I-60131 Ancona, Italy.

doi: 10.7338/pls2014512/04 

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abstract

The vegetation with Daphne sericea Vahl occurring in the eastern sector of the Gargano Promontory (southern Italy) is presented here. Daphne sericea is an evergreen and nano-phanerophyte species occurring in the central and eastern part of the European Mediterranean basin. In Italy, it is present in some Tyrrhenian coastal areas, whereas along the Adriatic coasts it occurs in the Gargano area and in Tremiti Islands. In the Gargano area, Daphne sericea occurs mainly in the eastern part of the promontory where it is found on formations of Majolica rich in lists and chert nodules. The phytosociological study of this area allowed us to describe a new association of microforest dominated by Juniperus oxycedrus subsp. oxycedrus, named Daphno sericeae-Juniperetum oxycedri differentiated into two subassociations: oleetosum sylvestris and quercetosum virgilianae.
Daphne sericea is the characteristic species of the new holm-oak association named Anemono apenninae-Quercetum ilicis that occurs even in the new subassociation quercetosun dalechampii, indicating the transition to the mesophilus and acidophilus formations of deciduous forests.
Daphne sericea is also abundant in the undergrowth of two deciduous forest formations where it helps to differentiate two new subassociations which are daphnetosum sericeae of the association Cyclamino hederifolii-Quercetum virgilianae and daphnetosum sericeae of the association Physospermo verticillati-Quercetum cerris. In addition to the forest coenoses indicated, it was possible to recognize an association of nanophanerophytic vegetation named Daphno sericeae-Cistetum monspeliensis. The syntaxonomical scheme of the studied vegetation is proposed.
In the conclusions, the high colonizing ability of Daphne sericea is highlighted, indeed, it is able to participate in such diverse plant communities in a geomorphological enclave so particular because of the characteristics of the substrate.

keywords

Cisto cretici-Micromerietea julianae, Daphne sericea, Gargano, Italy, phytosociology, Quercetea ilicis, Querco-Fagetea