In Italy most of the habitats hosting terricolous lichens are found in the Alps and along the coasts, but some lichen-rich plant communities are also present in the Po Plain. We report a study of terrico-lous lichen communities found in dry grasslands attributed to Spergulo vernalis-Corynephoretum canescentis in the western Po Plain (Northern Italy), in accordance with the Braun-Blanquet approach. Relevés (138) were carried out in several developmental stages of the Corynephorus grassland. They were sorted manually and analyzed using ANOSIM, non-parametric MANOVA and PCA. Indicator species of the groups were found by means of INDVAL and SIMPER analyses and literature. Seven lichen vegetation types were distinguished. These were attributable to 4 described associations: Stere-ocauletum condensati, Cladonietum foliaceae (in which we found 3 subassociations: typicum, cladonietosum furcatae and cladonietosum subrangiformis), Cladonietum mitis and Cladonietum rei, and to one impoverished community (Cetraria aculeata community). Ordination of floristic variables showed several overlaps between communities, underlining the depleted floristic conditions found in the study area, where several species occur in many communities and other species are very rare, and thus play a minor role in the differentiation of the lichen vegetation types. Overlaps are also referable to intermediate conditions between one community and another, reflecting dynamic relationships, with Stereocauletum condensati, Cetraria aculeata community and Cladonietum foliaceae typicum having the most distinct pioneer character and Cladonietum mitis being the most evolved. Ordination of eco-logical variables based on the indices of substrate pH, light and humidity requirements and tolerance to eutrophication showed several overlaps between the communities, found to be from acidophytic to subneutrophytic, from rather to very photophytic, from mesophytic to rather xerophytic and from ani-trophytic to slightly nitrophytic. Rarity in Italy and conservation needs are discussed in detail, also in comparison with the situation of the same communities in central European Corynephorus grasslands. These grasslands and their typical lichen communities are rare in Italy and, though somewhat depleted, they are the habitat of several threatened lichen species at the southern margin of their distribution range. Therefore management plans should always consider both the cryptogamic and the vascular plant communities.

Terricolous lichen communities of Corynephorus canescens grasslands of Northern Italy

Gheza G.
;
2016

Abstract

In Italy most of the habitats hosting terricolous lichens are found in the Alps and along the coasts, but some lichen-rich plant communities are also present in the Po Plain. We report a study of terrico-lous lichen communities found in dry grasslands attributed to Spergulo vernalis-Corynephoretum canescentis in the western Po Plain (Northern Italy), in accordance with the Braun-Blanquet approach. Relevés (138) were carried out in several developmental stages of the Corynephorus grassland. They were sorted manually and analyzed using ANOSIM, non-parametric MANOVA and PCA. Indicator species of the groups were found by means of INDVAL and SIMPER analyses and literature. Seven lichen vegetation types were distinguished. These were attributable to 4 described associations: Stere-ocauletum condensati, Cladonietum foliaceae (in which we found 3 subassociations: typicum, cladonietosum furcatae and cladonietosum subrangiformis), Cladonietum mitis and Cladonietum rei, and to one impoverished community (Cetraria aculeata community). Ordination of floristic variables showed several overlaps between communities, underlining the depleted floristic conditions found in the study area, where several species occur in many communities and other species are very rare, and thus play a minor role in the differentiation of the lichen vegetation types. Overlaps are also referable to intermediate conditions between one community and another, reflecting dynamic relationships, with Stereocauletum condensati, Cetraria aculeata community and Cladonietum foliaceae typicum having the most distinct pioneer character and Cladonietum mitis being the most evolved. Ordination of eco-logical variables based on the indices of substrate pH, light and humidity requirements and tolerance to eutrophication showed several overlaps between the communities, found to be from acidophytic to subneutrophytic, from rather to very photophytic, from mesophytic to rather xerophytic and from ani-trophytic to slightly nitrophytic. Rarity in Italy and conservation needs are discussed in detail, also in comparison with the situation of the same communities in central European Corynephorus grasslands. These grasslands and their typical lichen communities are rare in Italy and, though somewhat depleted, they are the habitat of several threatened lichen species at the southern margin of their distribution range. Therefore management plans should always consider both the cryptogamic and the vascular plant communities.
Gheza G.; Assini S.; Passadore M.V.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/737415
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