A permanent field laboratory in the Pollino National Park: vegetation dynamics in mountain herbaceous communities

Domenico Gargano, Antonella Bonacci, Giuseppe De Vivo, Vittoria Marchianò, Aldo Schettino, Liliana Bernardo


By virtue of its ecological and floristic diversity, the Pollino National Park plays a key role for biodiversity conservation in the Mediterranean context. The historical interest of botanists for this areas has provided a lot of descriptive information on its flora and vegetation. Nonetheless, data concerning the effects of current environmental transformations (i.e. land-use changes, climate warming) on local plant richness are still poor. For this reason, the Ente Parco Nazionale del Pollino has promoted a long-term monitoring plan to investigate biodiversity variations in orophylous herbaceous vegetation under two experimental scenarios: absence of grazing, and climate warming. To date, two years of observation revealed significant but contrasting responses in plant communities well differentiated by ecological and floristic features. To better understand the biodiversity variations caused by the experimental regime, the monitoring trials need to be continued over a longer timeframe.


climate change; biodiversity conservation; vegetation dynamics; long-term ecology;mountain pastures

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