In Italy, Platanus orientalis L. is judged as an endangered species by some authors and non-native by others: these contrasting assessments can mislead the prioritization of management actions to preserve the species and the riparian vegetation that is its host. Based on a multidisciplinary approach, including palaeobotanical and ecological information, we assessed its status in Italy including the ecological and conservation value of the riparian plant communities hosting it in the Cilento National Park (S-Italy). Palaeobotanical data showed that P. orientalis in Italy should be considered an archaeophyte. According to the ecological assessment of the riparian plant communities hosting P. orientalis, the presence of the species can be interpreted as an indicator of an unfavourable state for the conservation of riparian vegetation. Knowing the status of a species remains one of the first steps to take to correctly propose scientifically based solutions for the conservation of plant diversity. However, there are no absolute criteria for conservation because all conservation objectives can be considered as cultural values. In this context, P. orientalis should be protected as a symbolic tree, an archaeophyte testifying an ancient common Mediterranean cultural heritage, worthy of preservation but outside of natural habitats

Under the shadow of a big plane tree: Why Platanus orientalis should be considered an archaeophyte in Italy

MARIGNANI, MICHELA
Ultimo
2015

Abstract

In Italy, Platanus orientalis L. is judged as an endangered species by some authors and non-native by others: these contrasting assessments can mislead the prioritization of management actions to preserve the species and the riparian vegetation that is its host. Based on a multidisciplinary approach, including palaeobotanical and ecological information, we assessed its status in Italy including the ecological and conservation value of the riparian plant communities hosting it in the Cilento National Park (S-Italy). Palaeobotanical data showed that P. orientalis in Italy should be considered an archaeophyte. According to the ecological assessment of the riparian plant communities hosting P. orientalis, the presence of the species can be interpreted as an indicator of an unfavourable state for the conservation of riparian vegetation. Knowing the status of a species remains one of the first steps to take to correctly propose scientifically based solutions for the conservation of plant diversity. However, there are no absolute criteria for conservation because all conservation objectives can be considered as cultural values. In this context, P. orientalis should be protected as a symbolic tree, an archaeophyte testifying an ancient common Mediterranean cultural heritage, worthy of preservation but outside of natural habitats
naturalness; habitats directive; riparian vegetation; palaeobotany
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11584/112742
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