Abstract The effects of the chemical and physical factors associated with geothermal activity on plant community structure and composition were investigated in one of the largest geothermal fields of central Italy. The study site was located in the geothermal area of Sasso Pisano GÇô Monte Rotondo Marittimo, Southern Tuscany. The percentage cover of all vascular plant, bryophyte and lichen species was estimated within 119 circular plots of 0.25 m2. For each plot the soil pH, soil temperature, slope, aspect, incident radiation, soil nitrogen and carbon contents were also quantified. Two vascular plants, Calluna vulgaris and Agrostis castellana, were found to be the most widespread species tolerating the harshest conditions in terms of low soil pH and high soil temperature. The most widespread cryptogam species was Hypnum cupressiforme. Spatially autoregressive models showed that a proportion of about 41GÇô51% of the variance in species richness of one group of plants (vascular or cryptogamic plants) could be modelled by using three or four uncorrelated environmental factors respectively (soil temperature, soil nitrogen and soil C/N ratio and these three plus incident radiation). For the total number of species (vascular and cryptogamic plants), the variance explained by the same three uncorrelated variables was about 57%. This study evidenced a strong environmental control of community composition and species richness, in a site subjected to extreme soil values of soil pH and temperature. The dominance of vascular over cryptogamic vegetation in this geothermal site can be explained by the combined effects of geothermal stress (low soil pH and high soil temperature) with the summer drought typical of the Mediterranean climate

Vegetation at the Limits for Vegetation: Vascular Plants, Bryophytes and Lichens in a Geothermal Field

CHIARUCCI, ALESSANDRO;
2008

Abstract

Abstract The effects of the chemical and physical factors associated with geothermal activity on plant community structure and composition were investigated in one of the largest geothermal fields of central Italy. The study site was located in the geothermal area of Sasso Pisano GÇô Monte Rotondo Marittimo, Southern Tuscany. The percentage cover of all vascular plant, bryophyte and lichen species was estimated within 119 circular plots of 0.25 m2. For each plot the soil pH, soil temperature, slope, aspect, incident radiation, soil nitrogen and carbon contents were also quantified. Two vascular plants, Calluna vulgaris and Agrostis castellana, were found to be the most widespread species tolerating the harshest conditions in terms of low soil pH and high soil temperature. The most widespread cryptogam species was Hypnum cupressiforme. Spatially autoregressive models showed that a proportion of about 41GÇô51% of the variance in species richness of one group of plants (vascular or cryptogamic plants) could be modelled by using three or four uncorrelated environmental factors respectively (soil temperature, soil nitrogen and soil C/N ratio and these three plus incident radiation). For the total number of species (vascular and cryptogamic plants), the variance explained by the same three uncorrelated variables was about 57%. This study evidenced a strong environmental control of community composition and species richness, in a site subjected to extreme soil values of soil pH and temperature. The dominance of vascular over cryptogamic vegetation in this geothermal site can be explained by the combined effects of geothermal stress (low soil pH and high soil temperature) with the summer drought typical of the Mediterranean climate
CHIARUCCI A.; CALDERISI M.; CASINI F.; BONINI I.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/382608
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