Original paper

Syntaxonomy, life forms and life strategies of the bryophyte vegetation of the Carnic Alps (NE Italy)

Puglisi, Marta; Kürschner, Harald; Privitera, Maria

Abstract

A bryosociological analysis on the Italian Carnic Alps has allowed to recognize eight associations, examined from a synecological, synhierarchical and chorological point of view. The surveyed associations were found on soil, limestone, rocky concavities, rotten stumps in early or advanced stages of decay. The bryophyte associations are referred to the bryosociological classes Hylocomietea splendentis, Ctenidietea mollusci and Cladonio digitatae-Lepidozietea reptantis. Five communities are reported for the first time from Italy: Plagiopodo oederi-Orthothecietum rufescentis, Lophocoleo heterophyllae-Dolichothecetum seligeri, Riccardio palmatae-Scapanietum umbrosae, Bazzanio tricrenatae-Mylietum taylorii and Calypogeietum neesianae. The life form and life strategy analyses carried out within the eight communities confirm in general the adaptive trends already outlined by several studies. Typical for most of the communities are mat- and weft-forming perennial stayers that clearly indicate the prevailing shady and humid site conditions. With increasing drought stress, however, cushion and short turf-forming acrocarpous mosses enrich the species assemblages of the communities. This “plant functional type“ (e.g., perennial stayers strategy) is characteristic for long-lasting, undisturbed sites as provided in the understory of most of the forests of the Carnic Alps. Colonists that indicate first successional stages (pioneering species) or sites underlying strong disturbance, and perennial shuttle species typical for short-lasting sites are rare in the communities and - if present - of no significant value.

Keywords

bryophyte vegetationitalian carnic alpslife formslife strategiesliverwortsmossesphytosociologyplant functional types