Additional insights on the ecology of the relic tree Zelkova sicula di Pasquale, Garfì et Quézel (Ulmaceae) after the finding of a new population

Juliane Ruhl, Juliane Rühl, Salvatore Pasta, Salvatore Pasta, Sebastiano Trigila, Salvatore Pasta, Francesco Carimi, Giuseppe Garfì

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In early autumn 2009 a new population of Zelkova sicula, a very threatened tree species endemic to Sicily,has been found some 17km east from the first and unique population previously known. The abiotic(slope, rock and stone outcrop cover, environmental stress, etc.) and biotic (plant species composition,vegetation mean height, total cover, etc.) features of 30 plots selected within the two populations wereinvestigated in order to contribute at clarifying the actual and potential eco-geographic range of thisspecies. Data analysis showed that the floristic differences among the sampled plots mostly relate tothe rather high micro-habitat amplitude of the target species and the tree size. As in both populationsZ. sicula appears to currently prefer hollow trails (“thalwegs” in hydrogeological terminology), theassumption may be confirmed that in the past it probably was more widespread in fresher and morehumid environments. This hypothesis appears to be sound if we consider the ecological requirementsof all the existing Zelkova species.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-417
Number of pages11
JournalFlora
Volume206
Publication statusPublished - 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Plant Science

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