A survey on the vegetation of Cephalonia (Ionian islands)
Bolòs, O. de; Masalles, R. M.; Ninot, J. M.; Vigo, J.
After pointing out some physiographic, climatic and phytogeographic aspects, we describe the most outstanding features of the vegetation of the central Mediterranean island of Cephalonia, by means of phytocoenological analysis according to the Braun-Blanquet method. For each recorded community there is a brief description, as well as some representative relevés. On this basis, the most outstanding features of their phytocoenological or biogeographical meaning are pointed out, and a syntaxonomic scheme containing the studied communities is presented. Finally, a list of taxa not recorded for the island in previous floristic papers is provided. The forest of Quercus calliprinos - belonging to Quercion ilicis - is the most important climax community on the island, as remains of such forest are ubiquitous. Oleo-Ceratonion communities are much rarer, and appear restricted to especially dry, warm environments. At present, most of the landscape is dominated by secondary communities, both chamaephytic (light scrubs, phryganas; Cisto-Micromerietea) and herbaceous (therophytic pastures; Romulion, Echio-Galactition, ...), together with traditional crops. Deciduous vegetation and other mesophytic or hygrophytic communities are very rare, as are coastal sand communities. In the central part of the island, an impressive mountain range shows a well-developed montane belt with an extense woodland of Abies cephalonica on the north aspect.