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Plant Sociology 54 (2) 2017

pag. 43-50: Coastal dune vegetation in central Campania: an insight on the Natural Reserve “Foce Sele-Tanagro”

I. Prisco, C. Berardi, A.T.R. Acosta

Department of Science, Roma Tre University, Viale G. Marconi 446, I-00146 Roma, Italy.

doi: 10.7338/pls2017542/05

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In Italy there is a long tradition of vegetation survey with hundreds of vegetation relevés widespread throughout the Italian coastline. However, there are still some poorly investigated areas, such as the sandy shores of the Campania Region. Considering this lack of knowledge, the main aim of this study is to describe the coastal habitats within the Natural Reserve “Foce Sele-Tanagro” (central Campania). Through random sampling and multivariate analysis we recognised five dune habitats from the upper beach to a pine forest. We then analysed plant cover and richness of specific ecological guilds (typical, ruderal and alien species) along the coastal dune vegetation zonation. The two habitats closer to the seashore (upper beach and embryo dunes) and the Mediterranean maquis show the highest cover and richness of typical plant species, while the dune grasslands harbour the high total number of species. The pine forest, although artificially planted, retains its psammophilous character thanks to the occurrence of many dune species. We should also note that two important coastal dune habitats were not found in the study area: shifting dune communities with Ammophila arenaria and the semi-stabilized dunes with Crucianella maritima. Overall, in this contribution we highlight the presence of residual natural coastal dune habitats of high conservation value together with a widespread agricultural and artificial landscape matrix.


Campania region, Habitats Directive, psammophilous species, random sampling, Sele river