Fagonia cretica L. is an important component of Mediterranean dry grasslands and a rare andisolated species of Italian flora. In this study, an assessment is presented on the distribution, habitat, andconservation status of F. cretica in Italy. The results of field investigation and herbarium analysis show thatthis species grows in a small area within the southern Calabria region characterized by a warmest anddriest Mediterranean climate on the Italian peninsula. F. cretica is a semi-desert plant species growing inItaly in only one peripheral and isolated population at the northern limit of its distribution. Plantcommunity analysis, using the phytosociological method, shows that F. cretica grows in wintergreenperennial dry grasslands dominated by Lygeum spartum and Hyparrhenia hirta. F. cretica plant communities arelocated in thermo-xeric habits such as south-, southeast- and east-facing slopes on clays and sandy clays insouthern Calabria. The population of F. cretica is fragmented in six neighbouring localities, with two ofwhich belonging to a Site of Community Importance (SCI). The conservation status of F. creticapopulation is not very good, and is defined as “Critically Endangered” in accordance with IUCN criteria.There are many threats affecting the F. cretica population in Italy, primarily the changes in land uses due tourban expansion and reforestation with exotic plants. The southern end of the Italian peninsula hostsother plants from thermo-xeric habits that do not adapt to the current local climate. This territory can beconsidered as a microrefugia for plants currently distributed in the arid territory of the southernMediterranean. These results contribute to the discussion of some conservation measures, and thepossibility of establishing a micro-reserve. For all these reasons, we propose to include F. cretica in the listsof protected plant species at regional (Calabria) and country (Italy) scales in Italy.
|Titolo:||Habitat, occurrence and conservation status of the Saharo-Macaronesian and Southern-Mediterranean element Fagonia cretica L. (Zygophyllaceae) in Italy.|
SPAMPINATO, Giovanni (Corresponding)
|Data di pubblicazione:||2018|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|