Relationships between plant diversity and environmental heterogeneity in rupicolous grasslands on gypsum. The case study of Alysso-Sedion albi (Habitat 6110).

Velli, Andrea (2014) Relationships between plant diversity and environmental heterogeneity in rupicolous grasslands on gypsum. The case study of Alysso-Sedion albi (Habitat 6110)., [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze ambientali: tutela e gestione delle risorse naturali, 26 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/6493.
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Plant communities on weathered rock and outcrops are characterized by high values in species richness (Dengler 2006) and often persist on small and fragmented surfaces. Yet very few studies have examined the relationships between heterogeneity and plant diversity at small scales, in particular in poor-nutrient and low productive environment (Shmida and Wilson 1985, Lundholm 2003). In order to assess these relationships both in space and time in relationship, two different approaches were employed in the present study, in two gypsum outcrops of Northern Apennine. Diachronic and synchronic samplings from April 2012 to March 2013 were performed. A 50x50 cm plot was used in both samplings such as the sampling unit base. The diachronic survey aims to investigate seasonal patterning of plant diversity by the use of images analysis techniques integrated with field data and considering also seasonal climatic trend, the substrate quality and its variation in time. The purpose of the further, synchronic sampling was to describe plant diversity pattern as a function of the environmental heterogeneity meaning in substrate typologies, soil depth and topographic features. Results showed that responses of diversity pattern depend both on the resources availability, environmental heterogeneity and the manner in which the different taxonomic group access to them during the year. Species richness and Shannon diversity were positively affected by increasing in substrate heterogeneity. Furthermore a good turnover in seasonal species occurrence was detected. This vegetation may be described by the coexistence of three groups of species which created a gradient from early colonization stages, characterized by greater slope and predominance of bare rock, gradually to situation of more developed soil.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Velli, Andrea
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze della terra e dell'ambiente
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Plant diversity, Arid environment, Habitat 6110, Conservation, Dry grassland, Plant ecology
Data di discussione
5 Maggio 2014

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