The structure of 42 natural populations of the endangered fern Osmunda regalis was studied at the southern limit of its European distribution. The aims were to i) investigate the population structures and status of the species; ii) test which local habitat and population characteristics correlate with the different population structures in the Mediterranean area; iii) evaluate which habitat types are suitable to support viable populations. The structure of populations is determined by the attribution of different stages of development of the sporophyte. This study documented the life-stage structure of O. regalis using an original classification of life stages that may be applicable to other fern populations with similar morphology. Using statistical analyses we distinguished: i) dynamic populations, which are characterized by a large proportion of sporelings and vegetative adults and are associated with streams and nemoral species; ii) stable populations, with a higher proportion of generative adults, growing prevalently in habitats rich in hygrophilous grasses and shrubs, with lower tree cover; iii) senile populations, with a relatively higher proportion of senescent individuals and with marked rejuvenation dominated by vegetative adults, which are prevalently located in spring swamps. The proportion of senescent stage individuals is positively correlated with the mean geographic distance between populations. Spring swamps, with populations that provide a clear example of remnant dynamics, are the habitat with the most stable conditions for O. regalis in the Mediterranean area.

Landi, M., & Angiolini, C. (2011). Population Structure of Osmunda regalis in Relation to Environment and Vegetation: An Example in the Mediterranean Area. FOLIA GEOBOTANICA, 46, 49-68.

Population Structure of Osmunda regalis in Relation to Environment and Vegetation: An Example in the Mediterranean Area

ANGIOLINI, CLAUDIA
2011

Abstract

The structure of 42 natural populations of the endangered fern Osmunda regalis was studied at the southern limit of its European distribution. The aims were to i) investigate the population structures and status of the species; ii) test which local habitat and population characteristics correlate with the different population structures in the Mediterranean area; iii) evaluate which habitat types are suitable to support viable populations. The structure of populations is determined by the attribution of different stages of development of the sporophyte. This study documented the life-stage structure of O. regalis using an original classification of life stages that may be applicable to other fern populations with similar morphology. Using statistical analyses we distinguished: i) dynamic populations, which are characterized by a large proportion of sporelings and vegetative adults and are associated with streams and nemoral species; ii) stable populations, with a higher proportion of generative adults, growing prevalently in habitats rich in hygrophilous grasses and shrubs, with lower tree cover; iii) senile populations, with a relatively higher proportion of senescent individuals and with marked rejuvenation dominated by vegetative adults, which are prevalently located in spring swamps. The proportion of senescent stage individuals is positively correlated with the mean geographic distance between populations. Spring swamps, with populations that provide a clear example of remnant dynamics, are the habitat with the most stable conditions for O. regalis in the Mediterranean area.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11365/22100
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