Val Ferret, Courmayeur - Caltha palustris L.
D. Gargano1, S. Aiello1, T. Abeli2, A. Schettino3, L. Bernardo1
1Department of Biology, Ecology and Earth Sciences, University of Calabria, via P. Bucci, I-87036, Rende (CS). Current address: Natural History Museum and Botanical Garden, University of Calabria, Loc. Polifunzionale, I-87036, Rende (CS), Italy.
2Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Pavia, via S. Epifanio 14, I-27100, Pavia, Italy.
3Pollino National Park, Complesso Monumentale Santa Maria della Consolazione, I-85048, Rotonda (PZ), Italy.
We are monitoring three mountain herbaceous communities (a snow-bed community, a mesophile meadow and a xeric pasture) in the Pollino National Park (S-Apennines, Italy), in order to investigate relationships among climate, soil properties, vegetation structure (composition and spatial heterogeneity) and dynamics (seasonal patterns of species richness). To date, field data revealed striking differences of climate, soil and vegetation traits among the communities. The mesophile and the xeric community show a higher species richness than the snow-bed one, while the mesophile and the snow-bed community have a higher floristic relatedness. Species-area relationships evidence a substantial spatial heterogeneity in all sites. In two cases local plant diversity patterns appear significantly related to soil traits. Differences in seasonal biodiversity patterns are also evident, suggesting that contrasting mountain communities may be differently affected by climate warming components (i.e. summer drought vs. spring warming).
biodiversity, climate change, seasonal dynamics, soil analyses, species-area relationships, vegetation