Biodiversity indicators in oak – hophornbeam coppices of varying age in Colli Euganei hills (Padua, Italy)

Roberta Riondato, Cristiana Colpi, Roberto Del Favero


The species composition in oak – hophornbeam coppices of different age in theColli Euganei hills (Padua, North-East Italy) has been analyzed , in order to single outhow the time interval elapsed since harvesting affects biodiversity indices.Along with the progressive closure of the canopy, due to the increasing age, therichness of undergrowth species and the complexity of plant communities decreases,the number of hemerophyta herbs/shrubs species also declines; instead, some «ancientspecies» appear. Therefore, the number and the coverage of most of undergrowth specieschange with the time elapsed since cutting («V» type sensu DEL FAVERO et al.,2000), i.e. the role of these species in the community is controlled by the availability ofsolar radiation at the forest floor level.The number of rare species seems not be correlated whith the age of the coppice.


biodiversity; near-nature; coppice; age.

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