iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Assessing the habitat conservation status by soil parameters and plant ecoindicators

Flavia Sicuriello (1-2)   , Cristina De Nicola (3), Giuseppina Dowgiallo (3), Anna Testi (3)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 7, Issue 3, Pages 170-177 (2014)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor0963-007
Published: Feb 14, 2014 - Copyright © 2014 SISEF

Research Articles

The aim of this study is to evaluate the conservation status of a Natural Reserve through an integrated approach analysing simultaneously soils, lithotypes, land forms, edaphic parameters and plant species. In focusing the relationships between soil and vegetation, plant ecoindicators, expressed by i) the Ellenberg bioindication model and by ii) the Hemeroby Index, and soil measured parameters were utilized.Vegetation and soil data have been collected simultaneously through thirty vegetation relevés and soil profiles. Cluster analysis, performed on matrix 12 variables/ 30 relevés allowed a division into two main clusters, each one divided into sub-clusters, distinguished by floristic composition and soil characteristics. The clusters were markedly discriminated by soil Available Water Capacity (AWC). Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA), performed on variables and species matrices, allowed to discriminate two main habitats: i) a core habitat represented by patches of temperate forest correlated to soil cycles of water and nutrients; ii) an ecotonal habitat shaped by mixed evergreen and thermophilous deciduous oak forest depending on light, temperature and human disturbance.


Mediterranean Forest Vegetation, Soil, AWC, Ellenberg’s Indicators, Hemeroby Index, CCA

Authors’ address

Flavia Sicuriello
Department of Forest Environment and Resources, University of Tuscia, v. S. Camillo de Lellis snc, I-01100 Viterbo (Italy)
Flavia Sicuriello
IBAF-CNR, v. Salaria km 29.3, I-00016 Monterotondo Scalo (RM - Italy)
Cristina De Nicola
Giuseppina Dowgiallo
Anna Testi
Department of Environmental Biology, Botanical Garden, “La Sapienza” University of Rome, l.go Cristina di Svezia 24, I-00165 Rome (Italy)

Corresponding author

Flavia Sicuriello


Sicuriello F, De Nicola C, Dowgiallo G, Testi A (2014). Assessing the habitat conservation status by soil parameters and plant ecoindicators. iForest 7: 170-177. - doi: 10.3832/ifor0963-007

Academic Editor

Raffaele Lafortezza

Paper history

Received: Feb 01, 2013
Accepted: Dec 03, 2013

First online: Feb 14, 2014
Publication Date: Jun 02, 2014
Publication Time: 2.43 months

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