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Kustatscher E.,Museo di Science Naturali dellAlto Adige | Kustatscher E.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich
Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology | Year: 2014

The Middle Jurassic flora of Sardinia has been studied, and 24 taxa (19 genera) belonging to horsetails, ferns (Phlebopteris, Hausmannia, Coniopteris, Todites, Cladophlebis), seed ferns (Sagenopteris, Ptilozamites), cycadophytes (Nilssonia, Pterophyllum, Cycadeospermum, Ptilophyllum, Williamsonia, Weltrichia, Taeniopteris), ginkgophytes (Czekanowskia), conifers (Geinitzia, Brachyphyllum, Elatocladus) and seeds (Carpolithes), have been identified. The flora of Sardinia is the southernmost of all Middle Jurassic European floras. The coeval European and North African floral assemblages (112 genera) are present in a wide variety of environments and different palaeogeographic positions, which is reflected in a wide variety of taxa. A comparison between the coeval floras of Middle Jurassic age reveals a higher degree of dissimilarity than similarity between the various assemblages, which is in disagreement with the general picture of the homogeneity in the Jurassic floras given by previous authors. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Marchetti L.,University of Padua | Forte G.,University of Padua | Bernardi M.,MUSE Museo delle Science | Bernardi M.,University of Bristol | And 5 more authors.
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology | Year: 2015

The Late Cisuralian is known as a time of increasing aridity, compared to the Late Pennsylvanian-Early Cisuralian. Although several studies highlighted this trend at low latitudes of Western Pangaea, little is known from Central Pangaea environments. The discovery of new fossiliferous horizons in the Late Cisuralian Tregiovo Formation (Northern Italy), allowed a new palaeoenvironmental study based on facies analysis, ichnology, palaeobotany, plant-insect interaction and palynology. Three facies associations were identified (A-C), and correspond to floodplain lake, ephemeral lacustrine and distal alluvial fan environments, respectively. The tetrapod ichnoassociation is more diverse than previously known, including abundant diapsid and non-diapsid reptile tracks and rarer temnospondyl amphibian tracks. Plant fossils are characterized by a predominance of hinterland taxa (conifers), hygrophytic plants are present as well. The sporomorph association is dominated by miospores of Cordaitales, Voltziales, and Peltaspermales while trilete lycopsid and fern miospores are rare which corresponds well with the macroflora. Invertebrate trace fossils and feeding traces on plant fossils are described for the first time from the Tregiovo Basin suggesting transitional, low energy environments, and a relatively low level of herbivory, respectively. This study evidences the development in the Tregiovo Basin of a wet-and-dry (probably seasonal) climate, which became drier between facies associations A-B. This environment constitutes an important reference since few data are known to infer the Late Cisuralian climatic conditions of Central Pangaea. © 2015 Elsevier B.V..


Gentili R.,University of Milan Bicocca | Gilardelli F.,University of Milan Bicocca | Bona E.,Centro Studi Naturalistici Bresciani | Prosser F.,Museo Civico di Rovereto | And 33 more authors.
Plant Biosystems | Year: 2016

The spread of the invasive and allergenic Ambrosia artemisiifolia L. in Italy was analysed and mapped using distribution data from a wide range of sources. Ambrosia artemisiifolia occupies 1057 floristic quadrants which are mostly distributed in the Po plain. The distribution obtained represents the basis to implement urgent management strategies. © 2016 Società Botanica Italiana


Dal Corso J.,University of Padua | Roghi G.,CNR Institute of Geosciences and Earth Resources | Kustatscher E.,Museo di Science Naturali dellAlto Adige | Kustatscher E.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | And 3 more authors.
Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology | Year: 2015

An integrated sporomorph and ammonoid biostratigraphy has been carried out in three upper Anisian (Middle Triassic) stratigraphic sections in the Southern Alps (Italy). Two main sporomorph assemblages have been defined and calibrated with ammonoids. The TrSM-A assemblage is marked by the co-occurrence of Stellapollenites thiergartii, Dyupetalum vicentinense, Cristianisporites triangulatus and Staropollenites antonescui. The TrSM-B assemblage is marked by the first occurrence of Cannanoropollis scheuringii. The boundary between the TrSM-A and TrSM-B assemblages falls in the upper part of the reitzi ammonoid subzone (Hungarites zone; Illyrian). The TrSM-A and TrSM-B assemblages have been compared and correlated with other existing sporomorph biozonations for the northwestern Tethys, the Germanic Basin and the Barents Sea.The first occurrence of the genus Ovalipollis is recorded within the assemblage TrSM-A, in the lower-middle reitzi ammonoid subzone.Quantitative palynological data coupled with previously published studies show a shift from hygrophytic to xerophytic elements in the trinodosus-lower reitzi ammonoid subzones. This change in precipitation range can be recognised in other sections in the northwestern Tethys but seems to have preceded a similar shift recorded in the Boreal realm. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Dal Corso J.,University of Padua | Preto N.,University of Padua | Kustatscher E.,Museo di Science Naturali dellAlto Adige | Mietto P.,University of Padua | And 2 more authors.
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology | Year: 2011

The carbon-isotope signatures of Carnian (Late Triassic) amber drops from Rifugio Dibona (Southern Alps, Italy) were studied and compared with that of other Middle-early Late Triassic fossil plant remains, namely wood and leaves. Amber, wood and leaf carbon-isotope data are highly variable within the same beds. δ13Camber values vary by up to 5.4‰ and are enriched by ~2.5‰ with respect to associated wood. δ13Cwood and δ13Cleaf ranges are narrower than that of amber (~2-3‰) and the isotopic offset within each bed is similar over time. The high Triassic amber carbon-isotope variability is similar to that of recent resin. Despite the high variability, δ13Cwood and δ13Cleaf illustrate a Middle-early Late Triassic secular positive trend that is similar to that of marine δ13Cinorg data and must record the carbon-isotope evolution of the ocean-atmosphere system. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Spitale D.,Museo di Science Naturali dell'Alto Adige | Mair P.,Museo di Science Naturali dell'Alto Adige
Plant Biosystems | Year: 2015

Buxbaumia viridis is a rare policy species restricted to decaying woods in forests. Although Member States of EU are required to monitor its conservation status, specific models able to predict species distribution are still lacking. However, the availability of such models would strongly improve the efficiency in collection additional data and consequently lead to a better knowledge of its ecology. Aims of this work were (i) to provide a model for species distribution assessing the importance of different environmental variables thought to be important in setting the occurrence of Buxbaumia viridis and (ii) to test the effect of imperfect detection in defining the environmental space where the species occur. With this work, records of B. viridis increased twofold in the Alpine region of Italy, passing from 13 records to 26. We showed that on the Alps, occurrence of Buxbaumia viridis was best predicted by northness, rainfall, canopy closure and necromass. Necromass was the single most important variable. A volume of 48–61 m3/ha of necromass was identified as the threshold value determining the high probability of species occurrence. The imperfect detection probability of the species (p = 0.25), biased towards zero the importance of the environmental variables. © 2015 Societa Botanica Italiana


Nascimbene J.,Museo di Science Naturali dellAlto Adige | Nascimbene J.,University of Padua | Ackermann S.,University of Padua | Dainese M.,University of Würzburg | And 2 more authors.
Fungal Ecology | Year: 2016

We examined the main and interactive effects of factors related to habitat filtering, dispersal dynamics, and biotic interactions, on tree-level population dynamics of a subset of species composing the epiphytic lichen pool in an alpine forest. We tested these processes evaluating the population size of 14 lichen species on six hundred and sixty-five trees within a 2 ha plot located in a high elevation alpine forest of the eastern Italian Alps. Our results indicate that community assembly patterns at the tree-level are underpinned by the simultaneous effects of habitat filtering, dispersal, and biotic interactions on the fine-scale population dynamics. These processes determine how the single species are sorted into community assemblages, contributing to tree-level community diversity and composition patterns. This corroborates the view that the response of lichen communities to environmental gradients, in terms of compositional and diversity shifts, may reflect differential species responses to different drivers. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd and British Mycological Society


Scanu G.G.,University of Cagliari | Kustatscher E.,Museo di Science Naturali dellAlto Adige | Pittau P.,University of Cagliari
Bollettino della Societa Paleontologica Italiana | Year: 2012

A preliminary account is presented herein of the revision of 473 slabs containing macrofossil plant remains from the Domenico Lovisato plant Collection. The latter is housed in the Museo Sardo di Geologia e Paleontologia "D. Lovisato" of the Università di Cagliari. The material examined encompasses palaeobotanical remains collected from the Genna Selole Formation and from the basal part of the Dorgali Formation, both of Jurassic age at a variety of localities in Barbagia and Sarcidano, eastern Sardinia. A reconstruction is given of the history of the collection, initiated in 1888, and the scientific studies of the flora by a variety of palaeobotanists. Based on a preliminary revision of the specimens the following genera are recognized: Phlebopteris Brongniart, 1836, Hausmannia Dunker, 1846, Coniopteris Brongniart, 1849, Cladophlebis Brongniart, 1849, Sagenopteris Presl in Sternberg, 1838, Cycadeospermum Saporta, 1875, Ptilophyllum Morris in Grant, 1840, Williamsonia Carruthers, 1870 emend. Harris, 1969, Weltrichia Braun, 1847 emend. Harris, 1969, Taeniopteris Brongniart, 1828, Czekanowskia Heer, 1876 emend. Harris et al., 1974, Brachyphyllum Brongniart, 1828, Elatocladus Halle, 1913 emend. Harris, 1979 and Carpolithes Brongniart, 1822. Some plant remains have been putatively assigned to the following genera: Ptilozamites Nathorst, 1878 emend. Antevs, 1914, Nilssonia Brongniart, 1825, Pterophyllum Brongniart, 1828 and Geinitzia Endlicher, 1847. Several of these genera are known also from the Jurassic flora of Yorkshire and from other Jurassic floras of Italy.


Ronchi A.,University of Pavia | Kustatscher E.,Museo di Science Naturali dellAlto Adige | Pittau P.,University of Cagliari | Santi G.,University of Pavia
Geologia Croatica | Year: 2012

The paper provides an overview of the main Pennsylvanian sites in Italy yielding associations rich in plants and/or palynomorphs. So far in Italy, the principal outcrops are located in the Southern Alps, Tuscany and Sardinia. In the Western Southern Alps and bordering Switzerland, Westphalian outcrops are small and scattered. Nevertheless, one of them yielded an abundant fossil flora, stored at the Museo Civico di Storia Naturale of Milan, (Venzo and Maglia Collection). In the Carnic Alps, (Eastern Southern Alps), continental deposits of Moscovian to Gzhelian age also occur near the border with Austria. They have produced a high number of preserved plant fossils, presently stored in the Museo Friulano di Storia Naturale of Udine. In Tuscany, the two main sections yielding Westphalian to Autunian floras are those of the Iano and Pisani Mountains. A rich collection of plant fossils from those sites is hosted at the Museo di Storia Naturale of Florence University and at the Museum of Natural History of Pisa University. In Sardinia, plant fossil sites are located in the south west and central east parts of the island. The San Giorgio Basin (Iglesiente subregion) and the Tuppa Niedda section (Arburese subregion) are late Westphalian - early Stephanian in age. In the Barbagia at SeuiSeulo and the Gerrei subregions, other continental basins yielded transitional 'StephanianAutunian' fossil plant associations. The slabs are stored as part of the Lovisato Collection at the Lovisato Museum of the Chemical and Geoscience Department of Cagliari University. Smaller historical outcrops of Carboniferous age are also known from other Italian regions, such as Liguria.


Nascimbene J.,Museo di Science Naturali dellAlto Adige | Nascimbene J.,University of Trieste | Nimis P.L.,University of Trieste | Dainese M.,University of Padua
Fungal Ecology | Year: 2014

Epiphytic lichens are a functionally important and species-rich component of Alpine forests, including several species of conservation concern. Their dependence on specific host trees predicts that forests with different tree species composition host different lichen communities, enhancing lichen diversity in forest landscapes. In this study, we tested for the first time the effect of forest type on patterns of epiphytic lichen diversity, in the Italian Alps. We sampled the main forest types of the South Tyrol, a typical Alpine region of Italy. We also assessed the influence of factors related to forest structure and climatic conditions. Our results demonstrate that different forest types host statistically different lichen communities, suggesting that the conservation of lichen diversity is entrusted to the maintenance of forest landscape heterogeneity, including forest types of minor economic value and rural habitats. The highest number of species was found in grazed larch forests and in high-elevation spruce forests, while the poorest pool was found in low-elevation spruce forests, beech forests and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) forests. High-elevation spruce forests also had the highest number of red-listed lichens, as the non-intensive management of these forest type allows the establishment of a rich lichen biota. Our results also emphasize the role for lichen conservation of some forest types that are of minor economic importance, such as oak (Quercus pubescens), riparian, and silver-fir (Abies alba) forests. This can also apply to grazed larch (Larix decidua) forests that are maintained by traditional farming, which shape one of the most pleasing aspects of the Italian Alpine landscapes. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd and The British Mycological Society.

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