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Article

Floristic and Vegetation Changes on a Small Mediterranean Island over the Last Century

1
Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences, University of Catania, via A. Longo 19, 95125 Catania, Italy
2
Department STEBICEF, University of Palermo, via Archirafi 38, 90123 Palermo, Italy
3
Institute of Biosciences and BioResources (IBBR), National Research Council (CNR), Unit of Palermo, Corso Calatafimi 414, 90129 Palermo, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Pablo Vargas
Plants 2021, 10(4), 680; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10040680
Received: 2 March 2021 / Revised: 23 March 2021 / Accepted: 28 March 2021 / Published: 1 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Systematics, Taxonomy, Nomenclature and Classification)
A synthetic and updated overview about the vascular flora and vegetation of the Island of Capo Passero (SE-Sicily) is provided. These data issue from two series of field surveys—the first carried out between 1997 and 2000, and the second between 2005 and 2019 and mostly focused on refining and implementing vegetation data. The current islet’s flora consists of 269 taxa, of which 149 (58%) are annual plants. The Mediterranean species are largely prevailing, 108 (40%) of which have a strictly Mediterranean biogeographical status. The comparison with a species list published in 1919 and updated in 1957 suggest that, despite the overall prevalence of anemochorous taxa, the vertebrate fauna represents an important vector for the plant colonization of the island, while the immigration of myrmechocorous taxa does not compensate the extinction rate. As many as 202 phytosociological relevés, 191 of which issue from original recent field surveys, enabled identifying 12 different plant communities. The comparison with a vegetation map published in 1965 suggests a strong reduction in dune habitats (2120 and 2210 according to EU ‘Habitats’ Directive 92/43), as well as a deep disruption in the succession typical of the local psammophilous vegetation series. In order to preserve rare, endangered and protected plant species (such as Aeluropus lagopoides, Cichorium spinosum, Limonium hyblaeum, L. syracusanum, Poterium spinosum, Senecio pygmaeus and Spergularia heldreichii) and to stop the ongoing habitat degradation, urgent and effective conservation measures should be adopted for this tiny, yet precious islet. View Full-Text
Keywords: landscape dynamics; turnover; nature conservation; diachronic analysis; vegetation; Mediterranean islets landscape dynamics; turnover; nature conservation; diachronic analysis; vegetation; Mediterranean islets
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sciandrello, S.; Cambria, S.; Giusso del Galdo, G.; Guarino, R.; Minissale, P.; Pasta, S.; Tavilla, G.; Cristaudo, A. Floristic and Vegetation Changes on a Small Mediterranean Island over the Last Century. Plants 2021, 10, 680. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10040680

AMA Style

Sciandrello S, Cambria S, Giusso del Galdo G, Guarino R, Minissale P, Pasta S, Tavilla G, Cristaudo A. Floristic and Vegetation Changes on a Small Mediterranean Island over the Last Century. Plants. 2021; 10(4):680. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10040680

Chicago/Turabian Style

Sciandrello, Saverio; Cambria, Salvatore; Giusso del Galdo, Gianpietro; Guarino, Riccardo; Minissale, Pietro; Pasta, Salvatore; Tavilla, Gianmarco; Cristaudo, Antonia. 2021. "Floristic and Vegetation Changes on a Small Mediterranean Island over the Last Century" Plants 10, no. 4: 680. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10040680

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