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Plant Sociology 51 (2) S1 2014

pag. 73-80: Relevant aspects of the Abruzzo coast transformation during last centuries (Central Adriatic Italy)

K. Cianfaglione1, G. Damiani2, B. Schirone2, G. Pirone3, G. Ciaschetti4, A. Manzi5, P.L. Di Felice6, A. Colazilli7 & T. Marras2

1School of Biosciences and Veterinary Medicine, University of Camerino, Via Pontoni 5 - I-62032, Camerino (MC), Italy.
2D.A.F.N.E. Department, Tuscia University. Via San Camillo De Lellis s.n.c I-01100, Viterbo (VT), Italy.
3University of L'Aquila. Località Coppito I-67100, L'Aquila, Italy.
4Majella National Park, Via Badia 28 I-67039, Sulmona (AQ), Italy.
5Centro di ricerche floristiche dell’Appennino, Via Provinciale km 4,2 I-67021, Barisciano (AQ), Italy.
6Sorgenti del Pescara Nature Reserve, Via Decondre 103 I-65026, Popoli (PE), Italy.

doi: 10.7338/pls2014512S1/10 

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The aim of this study is to shed light on plant physiognomy and landscape changes which have characterized the Abruzzo coast in the past, analysing different historical documents in order to join the information with those related to the actual vegetation focusing on some events and historical processes which influenced the modification of the landscape, causing a huge spillover on natural environment and relapse of the soil use. The existence of different types of coastal woodlands is documented by some texts and geographic maps showing that in the past centuries the Abruzzo coast was covered by thick and impervious forests named “selvae”, which were integral part of the economy of local populations, mostly based on non-wood products. About the past plant physiognomy, most of the available information are fragmentary, but a few well detailed documents give an acceptable representation of some plant formations, as in the case of large coastal pine woods, which have been remodeled and reshaped over time, even with reforestation and are today restricted in small areas. Many documents are also important to prove the close link between these formations and the daily life of local people in the past, underlining at the same time their cultural and historical-environmental value. The study of this documentation is also useful for the analysis of those species whose presence status is nowadays considered critical or cryptic, as well as for the study of introduced species which are now historicized in the landscape and in some cases have become typical.


Abruzzo, Ancient forest, Coast, variation, vegetation, Pinus, selvae, species lost, typical.