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      A novel insight into the remnants of hygrophilous forests and scrubs of the Po Plain biogeographical transition area (Northern Italy)

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      Plant Sociology

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          Hygrophilous forests and scrubs are ecotonal habitats providing essential ecosystem services, especially in human-modified landscapes; nevertheless, they are among the most threatened habitats worldwide. A sound knowledge of waterside woody vegetation provides a valuable basis for interventions of renaturation of waterbodies. This paper focuses on peculiar communities that occur in riparian and swamp areas of the Po Plain, a broad ecotonal area between the Mediterranean and Temperate regions. The study allowed the description of six new associations. Moreover, it provides a detailed picture of Dioscoreo communis-Populetum nigrae (Populetalia albae) and Amorpho fruticosae-Salicetum albae (Salicetalia purpureae), an overview of Salicetum triandrae (Salicetalia purpureae) at the national and European level, and an update of the alliance Dioscoreo-Ulmion minoris, which is better characterized, classified in Populetalia albae and enlarged to include five associations of elm-oak-rich forests of the Po Plain lowlands and the Karst. Dioscoreo-Ulmion includes, besides Lamio orvalae-Ulmetum minoris, also Polygonato-Quercetum roboris and three new associations: Vinco minoris-Ulmetum minoris and Salvio glutinosae-Quercetum roboris from Po Plain rivers and the karstic lakeshore Rhamno catharticae-Ulmetum minoris. The new arrangement of Dioscoreo-Ulmion results from an analysis of Po Plain elm-rich forests including stands so far attributed to the critical alliance Alnion incanae; the presence of Querco-Ulmetum minoris in Italy is discussed. Two new associations are attributed to Prunetalia spinosae: Salici eleagni-Juniperetum communis and Ulmo minoris-Paliuretum spinae-christi. Stands from the Rivers Isonzo and Tagliamento referred to Veratro nigri-Fraxinetum excelsioris and to the new association Carici albae-Fraxinetum excelsioris represent the outermost expressions of the Ostryo-Tilion ravine forests extending towards the High Plain. A Salix alba swamp forest, Galio palustris-Salicetum albae, is reported for the first time in Italy and attributed to Alnetea glutinosae.

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          Most cited references 35

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          THE ECOLOGY OF INTERFACES:Riparian Zones

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            Riparian vegetation: degradation, alien plant invasions, and restoration prospects

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                (View ORCID Profile)
                Journal
                Plant Sociology
                Plant Sociology
                Pensoft Publishers
                2704-6192
                2280-1855
                November 19 2020
                November 19 2020
                : 57
                : 2
                : 17-69
                Article
                10.3897/pls2020572/01
                © 2020

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