Synecology, syntaxonomy and syndynamism of terrestrial bryophyte communities of southern Sicily
Lo Giudice, Rosa; Galesi, Rosario
This work presents the results of a phytosociological study of terricolous bryophyte communities, conducted in southern Sicily. The area surveyed is a wide territory included in the communes of Mazzarino, Niscemi, Acate, Vittoria, Mazzarrone, Caltagirone and San Michele di Ganzaria. The oak woods (Quercetea ilicis) and their degraded formations (evergreen shrubs, garigues, meadows) are widespread in the area. The analysis revealed 11 different communities. 10 are referring to class Barbuletea unguiculatae: Riccietum atromarginato-lamellosae, Trichostomo crispuli-Aloinetum aloidis, Astometum crispi, Acaulo fontiqueriani-Bryetum gemmilucentis ass. nova, which occurs on sandy siliceous soil in clearings of cork-oak woods, Riccio nigrellae-Oxymitretum paleaceae, Gymnostomo viriduli-Southbyetum nigrellae, Pleurochaeto-Cheilotheletum chloropi, Rhynchostegietum megapolitani, belonging to the order Barbuletalia unguiculatae; while Pterygoneuretum subsessilis and Crossidio crassinervis-Aloinetum aloidis to order Tortulo brevissimae-Aloinetalia bifrontis. One community is referring to class Cladonio-Lepidozietea reptantis: Rhynchostegiella litorea community, which grows on humiferous soil in mesophilous microclimate conditions within evergreen sclerophyll woods. In addition to the floristic and ecological description of the mentioned communities, data are given about the high vegetation and the main edaphic parameters of the sites. Finally, a succession pattern is proposed for the communities described relating to the microenvironmental gradients of xerophily and the soil depth.