Bryophyte diversity in some Sicilian protected areas.

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Abstract

The results of some investigations carried out in two Sicilian protected areas characterized by chalky reliefsare reported. These are the Serre di Ciminna and Monte Conca reserves.The Oriented Nature Reserve of Serre di Ciminna is located in northwestern Sicily, in the province ofPalermo. Established in 1997 to protect the interesting karst phenomena in a vast macro-crystalline gypsumoutcrop of the Messinian age, the series of "collapse valleys" and a swallowtail, the reserve falls within theRocche di Ciminna, Site of Community Importance (SIC) (code ITA 020024). It includes some habitats ofCommunity interest: pseudo-steppes with grasses and annuals of the Thero-Brachypodietea (code 6220),western Mediterranean and thermophilous screes (code 8130) and thermo-Mediterranean and pre-desertshrublands (code 5330).In order to contribute to the knowledge of biodiversity within the reserve, collections of bryophytic materialwere carried out in the grasslands, garigues, maquis and small fragments of Quercus virgiliana (Ten.) Ten.,forest repeatedly burned, situated in the localities of Balzo di Canalotto, Annunziata, Stretta di Carcaci,Cerami, Santa Caterina, Balzi della Chiusa e Cozzo Ginestra.The determination of specimens allowed to recognize 32 taxa (30 mosses and 2 liverworts), belonging to 23genera of 13 families. This is a rather large contingent of species, given the dryness characterizing the area ingeneral. Overall, saxicolous, photophylous, markedly xerophylous and calcicolous species prevail. From achorological point of view the temperate, Mediterranean and oceanic-Mediterranean taxa are highlyrepresented.The Integral Natural Reserve of Monte Conca is located in central Sicily, in the province of Caltanissetta. Itwas established in 1995 to protect the numerous karst environments in the area, extending to 2.45 Kmq. It isconstituted by the homonymous chalk relief and it is crossed, from east to west, by the river Gallo d'Oro. Thesite is mostly characterized by farming systems and in the most natural areas there are riparian communitieswith Populus, Tamarix and Salix species, as well as some aspects of maquis and garigue.11 taxa, of which 10 mosses belonging to 5 families, and one liverwort were found. They mainly includeMediterranean and widely spread in temperate zones species.Particularly interesting is the occurrence of Tortula revolvens (Sw. ex anon.) Rubers. moss, rare in Europe,linked to the chalky substrates.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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