Biodiversity & Ecology
Long Database Report Open Access
VegDunes – a coastal dune vegetation database for the analysis of Italian EU habitats
Keywords: Coastal dune habitat; Habitats Directive; phytosociological database; psammophilous vegetation; UTM grid.
Abstract: In this paper we illustrate VegDunes (GIVD ID EU-IT-005), a vegetation database of Italian coastal dune EU habitats (sensu 92/43/EEC Habitats Directive). We explore general features of the data collected, in particular variation in plot size, time range of the relevés and geographical position accuracy. Then, we characterise and explore the spatial distribution of the different coastal dune habitats in the database, evidencing major biodiversity “hotspots” (areas with the highest number of habitats) at the national level. We collected previously published phytosociological information (2,666 phytosociological relevés) concerning Italian coastal dune vegetation (10 different EU habitats) that ranged from 1967 to 2011. Most relevés were recorded with a medium to high accuracy (from the exact GPS coordinates to a coastal length up to 5 km) and the plot size did not exceed 100 m². Habitats close to the sea-line were much more widespread along Italian coasts compared to more inland ones, possibly in relation with habitat loss caused by the intensification of human impact in back dune communities. Even though phytosociological databases are affected by preferential sampling issues, this kind of data is an important source of information for nature conservation, especially for threatened coastal environments. Overall, this information may be a powerful instrument for the future management of EU habitats from a conservation perspective.
Prisco, I., Carboni, M., Acosta, A.T.R. (2012): VegDunes – a coastal dune vegetation database for the analysis of Italian EU habitats. – In: Dengler, J., Oldeland, J., Jansen, F., Chytrý, M., Ewald, J., Finckh, M., Glöckler, F., Lopez-Gonzalez, G., Peet, R.K., Schaminée, J.H.J. [Eds.]: Vegetation databases for the 21st century. – Biodiversity & Ecology 4: 191–200. DOI: 10.7809/b-e.00076.