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Stanisci A.,University of Molise | Acosta A.T.R.,Third University of Rome | Carranza M.L.,University of Molise | De Chiro M.,University of LAquila | And 7 more authors.
Plant Sociology | Year: 2014

The Italian LTER network is an integrated and shared system for ecosystem monitoring (Long Term Ecological Research-Italy). The research sites of Abruzzo and Molise are part of the LTER site 20 "Coastal sand dunes in central Italy" (www.lteritalia.it) and include 5 S.C.I. along the central Italy Adriatic coastline. The paper aims to carry out a short review of the main results recently achieved through the dune vegetation monitoring in these LTER sites and proposes a synthesis on the species composition (focal and alien species occurrence) and the spatial distribution of dune EU habitats. We recorded 17 EU dune habitats, 4 of them are priority habitats (2250∗, 2270∗, 3170∗, 1510∗). Results suggest that many EU habitats are still locally widespread, with the exception of wet slacks and evergreen woods, occurring only in residual small patches. Moreover all EU habitats host several invasive alien species and only in salt marshes they are almost absent, because of the occurrence of extreme salinity. This natural heritage is therefore vulnerable and further efforts should be made to reduce the impacts of human pressure, through increased awareness of environmental issues and the education on ecosystem services provided by the natural landscape of coastal dunes. © 2014 Italian Society for Vegetation Science. Source

van Gils H.,University of Twente | Conti F.,University of Camerino | Ciaschetti G.,Parco Nazionale della Majella | Westinga E.,University of Twente
Plant Biosystems | Year: 2012

Majella National Park in central Italy is known to be an endemic-rich area, but distributions of its endemics have not been comprehensively studied. Endemics with 10 or more records and spatial uncertainties at >5 km were extracted from the Central-Apennine floristic geodatabase and the MNP Seed Index. Nine environmental predictor layers were prepared at 90 and 30 m resolution. A stepwise Maximum Entropy (Maxent) model was generated per endemic to achieve the most parsimonious result at an area under the curve > 0.8. Arctic-alpine elevation, edaphic barrens and low open-vegetation, individually or in pairs, were found to be predictive for endemics. Forty-eight endemics, 10 of which exclusive, were recorded and Maxent-predicted for the Majella massif. Subsets of 38 endemics were recorded on other mountains in proportion to their arctic-alpine area, thus conforming to the Island Theory. Maxent confirmed its strengths also at fine resolutions and, in addition, showed to be robust across predictor layers at both resolutions. A linear species-area relationship appeared superior to the Maxent model in predicting the number of endemics per arctic-alpine "island". Our findings suggest the need for a proactive management of the botanical biodiversity contained in the alpine and montane barrens and low-open vegetation. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. Source

Venditti A.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Serrilli A.M.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Vittori S.,University of Camerino | Papa F.,University of Camerino | And 6 more authors.
Chemistry and Biodiversity | Year: 2013

In this study, we examined the composition regarding secondary metabolites of P. mugo Turra ssp. mugo growing in the protected area of Majella National Park, which is the southernmost station of the habitat of this species. Both the nonpolar and polar fractions were considered. In particular, the essential-oil composition showed a high variety of compounds, and 109 compounds were detected, and 101 were identified, among which abietane-type compounds have a taxonomic relevance. Abietanes were also isolated from the polar fraction, together with an acylated flavonol and a remarkably high amount of shikimic acid. Copyright © 2013 Verlag Helvetica Chimica Acta AG, Zürich. Source

Van Gils H.,University of Twente | Westinga E.,University of Twente | Carafa M.,Parco Nazionale della Majella | Antonucci A.,Parco Nazionale della Majella | Ciaschetti G.,Parco Nazionale della Majella
Journal for Nature Conservation | Year: 2014

The Brown bear (Ursus arctos Linnaeus, 1758) occupies contiguous areas in Eastern and Northern Europe. In Western Europe, the largest remnant populations occur in Cantabria, Spain and the Apennines, Italy. Under Italian law the bear and its occupied range are protected. The occupied range of the Apennine brown bear includes Majella National Park. However, information on the distribution within Majella NP is extrapolated and inconsistent, thus precluding evidence-based protected area and species management. To address this lack of information, bear presence records (1996-2010) were collated and corrected for observational bias. Multiple Species Distribution Models (SDMs) were created at 800. m resolution to predict year-round and seasonal bear distribution. A hierarchical, stepwise maxent SDM approach was applied using climatic, terrain, vegetation, and anthropogenic predictors of bear distribution. Occupied ranges were identified by point density analysis of bear presence. Our climate-only SDMs predicted bear presence in areas with relatively low snowfall and temperate temperatures. Year-round bear distribution was also accurately predicted by using temperate-montane elevations and mesic, mesotrophic vegetation substrates, irrespective of vegetation. Ski-resorts were negative predictors of year-round bear occurrence. Bears were predicted in autumn and winter by beech forest, in spring by meadows and in summer by a variety of vegetation categories. The regional and our local models predicted bear throughout the south. However, our predicted and occupied range in the north includes the Orta valley and exclude alpine heights, contrary to the regional models. Only our summer bear range is similar to a regional SDM. We demonstrated that multiple maxent SDMs using a modest number of observations and a comprehensive set of environmental variables may generate essential distributional information for protected area and species management where full wildlife and food source censuses are lacking. © 2013 Elsevier GmbH. Source

Venditti A.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Serrilli A.M.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Di Cecco M.,Parco Nazionale della Majella | Ciaschetti G.,Parco Nazionale della Majella | And 2 more authors.
Natural Product Research | Year: 2013

In this study, we report the isolation and identification of several compounds present in the polar fraction of Stachys germanica L. subsp. salviifolia (Ten.) Gams, collected in the protected area of Majella National Park. In particular, we have isolated and identified harpagide, 7-β-hydroxy-harpagide, ajugol, 5-allosyloxy-aucubin, verbascoside and, for the first time in this genus, arbutin. © 2013 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Source

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