Biological diversity represents nature in all its forms and is the fundamental pillar on which life on Earth rests and is perpetuated over time. This richness is the result of slow evolutionary processes that, under the impetus of natural selection, act on the genetic characteristics of species, thus enabling life forms to gradually adapt to changing environmental conditions. Global changes, mainly due to anthropogenic causes, are reducing this adaptive capacity and causing a very rapid decrease in planetary biodiversity. At this juncture, conservation biology has an active and fundamental role to play in the conservation of biodiversity in all its forms, and sets as its foundation the assessment of the conservation status of species and the possibility of survival of populations, facilitating the identification of strategies for their long-term protection. The aim of this thesis was to investigate the conservation biology of two endemic Italian species at risk of extinction: Salvia ceratophylloides Ard. and Pimpinella anisoides V.Brig. The first is a punctiform endemism exclusive to southern Calabria, “Critically Endangered” (CR), according to IUCN criteria and categories, as a consequence not only of anthropogenic pressure and threats, but also of parasite attacks. The second species is an endemism of southern Italy, which, despite being considered “Least Concern” (LC), risks becoming an endangered species in the near future, as it is subject to intensive harvesting for its fruits used to flavour sweets and liqueurs. Analyses were undertaken on Salvia ceratophylloides concerning its population dynamics in relation to anthropogenic and phytosanitary impacts, its current and future potential distribution in relation to climate change, and its phenological and ecophysiological responses to abiotic, single and combined stresses. For this species, the population analysis showed that it consists of 1555 individuals, and that, the dynamics are not stable over time and are profoundly influenced by anthropogenic and phytosanitary pressures and threats, which compromise habitat quality and the reproductive capacity of the species. The current and future potential distribution models generated with MaxEnt®, in relation to climate change, have shown that the habitat suitable for the species will not shift significantly, but will decrease in 2021-2040 and 2041-2060 in the SSP245 scenario, and increase in the SSP585 scenario. However, the current potential distribution is severely limited not only by bioclimatic parameters but also by geological substrate and land use. Analyses of phenological and ecophysiological responses to single and combined stresses revealed that individuals whose seeds were exposed to priming treatments (Osmopriming and Hydropriming) developed healthy, well-functioning plants that responded early and actively to the simulated stresses of future climate change. On Pimpinella anisoides, the specific carpological and phytochemical characteristics of the ripe fruit were analysed. These distinctive characters are essential to avoid adulteration of the sold material with immature fruits or fruits of other species of inferior quality. Furthermore, the carpological analysis clarified taxonomic doubts concerning the only two Italian endemic species of the genus Pimpinella, allowing easy differentiation between P. anisoides and the related P. gussonei. Overall, the results obtained lay the scientific basis for the planning of protection strategies capable of reducing and eliminating, over time, the pressures and threats that adversely affect the species, through specific in situ and ex situ conservation measures.

La diversità biologica rappresenta la natura in tutte le sue forme ed è il pilastro fondamentale su cui poggia e si perpetua nel tempo la vita sulla Terra. Questa ricchezza è il frutto di lenti processi evolutivi che, sotto la spinta della selezione naturale, agiscono sulle caratteristiche genetiche delle specie, permettendo così alle forme di vita di adattarsi progressivamente al cambiamento delle condizioni ambientali. I cambiamenti globali imputabili prevalentemente a cause antropiche, stanno riducendo questa capacità adattativa e causando un rapidissimo decremento della biodiversità planetaria. In questo frangente la biologia della conservazione ha un ruolo attivo e fondamentale nella conservazione della biodiversità in tutte le sue forme e pone come fondamento la valutazione dello stato di conservazione delle specie e la possibilità di sopravvivenza delle popolazioni, agevolando l’individuazione di strategie per la loro protezione a lungo termine. Scopo di questa tesi è stato quello di approfondire la biologia della conservazione di due specie endemiche italiane a rischio di estinzione: Salvia ceratophylloides Ard. e Pimpinella anisoides V.Brig. La prima è endemismo puntiforme esclusivo della Calabria meridionale, “Gravemente minacciata” (CR), secondo i criteri e le categorie IUCN, in conseguenza non solo della pressione antropica e delle minacce, ma anche degli attacchi parassitari. La seconda specie è un endemismo dell'Italia meridionale, che, nonostante sia considerato “Minor preoccupazione” (LC), rischia di diventare una specie a rischio nel prossimo futuro, in quanto soggetta a raccolta intensiva per i suoi frutti utilizzati per aromatizzare dolci e liquori. Su Salvia ceratophylloides sono state avviate analisi che riguardano la dinamica delle popolazioni in relazione agli impatti antropici e fitosanitari, la sua distribuzione potenziale attuale e futura in relazione ai cambiamenti climatici e le risposte fenologiche ed ecofisiologiche in risposta a stress abiotici, singoli e combinati. Per questa specie l’analisi della popolazione ha evidenziato che essa consiste di 1555 individui, e che, le dinamiche non sono stabili nel tempo e sono profondamente influenzate dalle pressioni e dalle minacce antropiche e fitosanitarie, che compromettono la qualità dell'habitat, la capacità riproduttiva della specie. I modelli di distribuzione potenziale attuale e futura generati con MaxEnt, in relazione ai cambiamenti climatici hanno mostrato che l’habitat idoneo alla specie non subirà spostamenti significativi ma diminuirà nel 2021- 2040 e nel 2041-2060 nello scenario SSP245, e aumenterà nello scenario SSP585. L'attuale distribuzione potenziale risulta invece fortemente limitata oltre che dai parametri bioclimatici anche dal substrato geologico e dall'uso del suolo. Le analisi delle risposte fenologiche ed ecofisiologiche a stress singoli e combinati hanno rivelato che gli individui i cui semi sono stati esposti a trattamenti di priming (Osmopriming e Hydropriming) hanno sviluppato piante sane e ben funzionanti che hanno risposto precocemente e attivamente agli stress simulati del futuro cambiamento climatico. Su Pimpinella anisoides sono state analizzate le caratteristiche carpologiche e fitochimiche specifiche dei frutti maturi. Questi caratteri distintivi sono fondamentali per evitare che il materiale venduto venga adulterato con frutti immaturi o frutti di altre specie di qualità inferiore. Inoltre, l'analisi carpologica ha chiarito i dubbi tassonomici relativi alle uniche due specie endemiche italiane del genere Pimpinella, consentendo una facile differenziazione tra P. anisoides e l'affine P. gussonei. Nel complesso, i risultati ottenuti pongono le basi scientifiche per la pianificazione di strategie di protezione in grado di ridurre ed eliminare, nel tempo, le pressioni e le minacce che influenzano negativamente le specie, attraverso specifiche misure di conservazione in situ ed ex situ.

Biology of conservation of endangered species "Salvia ceratophylloides" Ard. (Laminaceae) and "Pimpinella anisoides" V. Brig. (Apiaceae) / Laface, Valentina Lucia Astrid. - (2023 Oct 06).

Biology of conservation of endangered species "Salvia ceratophylloides" Ard. (Laminaceae) and "Pimpinella anisoides" V. Brig. (Apiaceae)

Laface, Valentina Lucia Astrid
2023-10-06

Abstract

Biological diversity represents nature in all its forms and is the fundamental pillar on which life on Earth rests and is perpetuated over time. This richness is the result of slow evolutionary processes that, under the impetus of natural selection, act on the genetic characteristics of species, thus enabling life forms to gradually adapt to changing environmental conditions. Global changes, mainly due to anthropogenic causes, are reducing this adaptive capacity and causing a very rapid decrease in planetary biodiversity. At this juncture, conservation biology has an active and fundamental role to play in the conservation of biodiversity in all its forms, and sets as its foundation the assessment of the conservation status of species and the possibility of survival of populations, facilitating the identification of strategies for their long-term protection. The aim of this thesis was to investigate the conservation biology of two endemic Italian species at risk of extinction: Salvia ceratophylloides Ard. and Pimpinella anisoides V.Brig. The first is a punctiform endemism exclusive to southern Calabria, “Critically Endangered” (CR), according to IUCN criteria and categories, as a consequence not only of anthropogenic pressure and threats, but also of parasite attacks. The second species is an endemism of southern Italy, which, despite being considered “Least Concern” (LC), risks becoming an endangered species in the near future, as it is subject to intensive harvesting for its fruits used to flavour sweets and liqueurs. Analyses were undertaken on Salvia ceratophylloides concerning its population dynamics in relation to anthropogenic and phytosanitary impacts, its current and future potential distribution in relation to climate change, and its phenological and ecophysiological responses to abiotic, single and combined stresses. For this species, the population analysis showed that it consists of 1555 individuals, and that, the dynamics are not stable over time and are profoundly influenced by anthropogenic and phytosanitary pressures and threats, which compromise habitat quality and the reproductive capacity of the species. The current and future potential distribution models generated with MaxEnt®, in relation to climate change, have shown that the habitat suitable for the species will not shift significantly, but will decrease in 2021-2040 and 2041-2060 in the SSP245 scenario, and increase in the SSP585 scenario. However, the current potential distribution is severely limited not only by bioclimatic parameters but also by geological substrate and land use. Analyses of phenological and ecophysiological responses to single and combined stresses revealed that individuals whose seeds were exposed to priming treatments (Osmopriming and Hydropriming) developed healthy, well-functioning plants that responded early and actively to the simulated stresses of future climate change. On Pimpinella anisoides, the specific carpological and phytochemical characteristics of the ripe fruit were analysed. These distinctive characters are essential to avoid adulteration of the sold material with immature fruits or fruits of other species of inferior quality. Furthermore, the carpological analysis clarified taxonomic doubts concerning the only two Italian endemic species of the genus Pimpinella, allowing easy differentiation between P. anisoides and the related P. gussonei. Overall, the results obtained lay the scientific basis for the planning of protection strategies capable of reducing and eliminating, over time, the pressures and threats that adversely affect the species, through specific in situ and ex situ conservation measures.
6-ott-2023
Settore BIO/03 - BOTANICA AMBIENTALE E APPLICATA
SORGONA', Agostino
SPAMPINATO, Giovanni
SCHENA, Leonardo
Doctoral Thesis
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12318/141331
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