On the presence, distribution and conservation status of Lycopodium lagopus (Lycopodiaceae) in Italy

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During our work on the Lycopodiaceae account for the upcoming Flora Critica d’Italia (1, 2), we assessed and accepted the presence in Italy of Lycopodium lagopus (Laest. ex Hartm.) Zinserl. ex Kuzen. = L. clavatum subsp. monostachyon (Grev. & Hook.) Selander (2).Already reported by Fiori (3) as L. clavatum f. monostachyum Desv., its presence in Italy was more recently confirmed by Tribsch & Schönswetter (4) and accepted in some subsequent regional works (e.g. 5, 6), but the taxon is not recognized as distinct in the last national checklist of vascular plants (7).Lycopodium lagopus has an arctic-alpine distribution in America and Eurasia (8, 9). Initially described as a variety of L. clavatum L., the taxon was later raised to subspecific (e.g. 10, 11) and specific rank (8, 9). In view of its largely sympatric occurrence with L. clavatum in the Alps, and of the apparent absence of intermediate populations or individuals, we prefer to treat L. lagopus as a separate species.The main characters distinguishing L. lagopus from L. clavatum are the number of strobili (usually 1, rarely 2), and especially their being sessile or subsessile on a 0-2 cm long “peduncle”.In the Italian Alps it usually occurs at >1800 m a.s.l. As a result of our revision of specimens in several Italian herbaria, this clubmoss, formerly known only from Trentino - Alto Adige and Lombardy, is here reported for the first time for Piedmont on the basis of two specimens collected by Carestia in Valsesia in 1870 and preserved in TO. The presence in Friuli - Venezia Giulia (reported in 6 on the basis of a posthumous work of Gortani) is not confirmed: a specimen collected by Gortani in 1908 and preserved in MFU under “L. clavatum f. monostachyum Desv.” is referable to L. clavatum. On the other hand, in view of the specie’s ecology and confirmed distribution, one may reasonably expect that it is to be found, additionally, in Val d’Aosta and Veneto.Lycopodium species in Europe have experienced a decline in abundance in a general way, partly due to their being collected and overexploited, and for this reason they have all been included in Annex V of the Habitats Directive 92/43/CEE. Lycopodium clavatum in particular, whose decline in Italy is confirmed by several authors (e.g., 6), is also included in Annex D of the Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97 on the protection of species of wild fauna and flora by regulation their trade.It is therefore urgent to define the current distribution and conservation status of L. lagopus in Italy, in order to plan possible conservation measures. We hope that its inclusion (as L. clavatum subsp. monostachyum) in the most recent Red List of Italian Flora (12), even if only as DD (Data Deficient), and the contribution here presented may stimulate the study of this species in Italy.This study is part of the “Flora Critica d’Italia” project and as such was funded by the Società Botanica Italiana onlus, the Fondazione per la Flora Italiana, and the International Foundation Pro Herbario Mediterraneo.1) L. Pignotti (ed) (2006) Progetto per una Flora critica dell’Italia. Società Botanica Italiana, Firenze2) A. Troia, W. Greuter (2013) Proceedings of XIV OPTIMA Meeting, Palermo, 9-15 September 2013, p. 1513) A. Fiori (1943) Flora Italica Cryptogama, pars V: Pteridophyta. Tipografia Mariano Ricci, Firenze4) A. Tribsch, Schönswetter P. (1999) Verh. Zool.-Bot. Ges. Österreich, 136, 235-2485) D. Aeschimann, K. Lauber, D.M. Moser, J.P. Theurillat (2004) Flora Alpina. Haupt Verlag, Bern6) E. Bona (ed), F. Martini, H. Niklfeld, F. Prosser (2005) Atlante corologi
Lingua originaleEnglish
Numero di pagine1
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2014


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