Sandy coastal landscape of the Lazio region (Central Italy)
Acosta, Alicia; Stanisci, Angela; Ercole, Stefania; Blasi, Carlo
The scope of this work is to present a hierarchical landscape classification of the Lazio coastal dune systems in order to propose a predictive model for the potential distribution of the coastal coenoses (Potential Natural Vegetation). This classification has been derived from a primary environmental differentiation induced by a combination of climatic, lithological, morphological and hydrogeological factors, integrated with phytosociological information. Based on diagnostic land attributes, 9 Land Elements, 3 Land Units and 3 Land Facets belonging to 1 Land System and 1 Land Region have been recognised. Each Land Unit is a complex of different plant communities within the same catenal sequence (geosigmetum), ranging from the most pioneer annual communities on the beach to different woods in the sheltered zone. The frontal tract of the potential catenal sequence is the same for the whole area while it tends to diverge towards the inner zone, where the most outstanding differences are reflected in the transition towards the dune slack with different woods. This study has enabled us to summarise environmental and phytosociological knowledge of the Lazio coastal dunes and to indicate models for the potential coastal zonation, useful for landscape monitoring, land quality evaluation and nature conservation planning.