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La flora vascolare dell’Isola di Marettimo (Arcipelago delle Egadi, Canale di Sicilia): aggiornamento ed analisi fitogeografica. – Webbia 61 (2) 359-402.


The vascular flora of Marettimo Island (Egadi’s Archipelago, W Sicily): updating and phytogeographic analysis – Exactly 50 years after the work of FRANCINI & MESSERI (1956), the present contribution, deriving from both field collections and thorough checking of literature and herbarium available data, provides an up-to-date synthesis about the vascular flora of Marettimo, which at present consists of 492 infra-generic taxa (i. e. species, subspecies and varietes), pertaining to 291 genera and 92 families. Among these taxa, 28 are here reported for the first time, 37 are confirmed more or less one century after their first and unique record (GUSSONE, 1832-34; 1842-45; LOJACONO-POJERO, 1888-1909). On the other hand, 120 taxa are excluded either because their presence seems to derive from erroneous interpretations (23) or because they probably became extinct due to recent land-use changes (97); this is the case of many archaeophytes, linked to declining traditional agriculture. Finally, the presence of other 54 taxa, which probably still live on the island, must be confirmed. Like in most part of the areas subject to typical Mediterranean climatic conditions, the biologic spectrum of Marettimo’s vascular flora shows a clear dominance of therophytes (51,8%) and hemicryptophytes (18,9%). As expected, the chorologic spectrum reveals the prevalence of the Mediterranean element, represented by 183 taxa, i.e. 37,2% of the local flora, with a remarkable occurrence of Mediterranean-Atlantic and SW-Mediterranean elements. Local endemism rate is quite high: 6 taxa are strictly endemic to the island itself, i.e. Allium franciniae Brullo & Pavone, Bupleurum dianthifolium Guss., Helichrysum rupestre (Rafin) DC. var. messerii Pignatti, Limonium tenuiculum (Tineo) Pignatti, Oncostema ughii (Guss.) Speta and Thymus nitidus Guss., one is endemic to the Egadi Archipelago (Brassica macrocarpa Guss.). Moreover, on the island live many other noteworthy taxa: 10 of them are endemic to Sicily, i.e. Anthemis secundiramea Biv. subsp. intermedia (Guss.) R. Fernandes, Asperula rupestris Tin., Bellevalia dubia (Guss.) Roem. et Schult. subsp. dubia, Carlina sicula Ten. subsp. sicula, Euphorbia papillaris (Boiss.) Raffaelli & Ricceri, Plantago afra L. subsp. zwierleinii (Nicotra) Brullo, Pseudoscabiosa limonifolia (Vahl) Devesa, Ranunculus spicatus Desf. subsp. rupestris (Guss.) Maire and Seseli bocconi Guss. subsp. bocconi, or to the Central Mediterranean area, such as Crocus longiflorus Raf., Daucus siculus Tineo, Dianthus rupicola Biv. subsp. rupicola, Iberis semperflorens L., Lithodora rosmarinifolia (Ten.) I. M. Johnston, Pimpinella anisoides Briganti, Satureja fruticulosa (Bertol.) Grande, Senecio willdenowii Peruzzi et Passalacqua, etc. Many other plants are absent or very rare/threatened at a regional level, such as Aristolochia navicularis Nardi, Daphne sericea Vahl, Erodium maritimum (L.) L’Hér., Lagurus ovatus L. subsp. vestitus (Messeri) H. Scholz, Periploca angustifolia Labill., Reichardia tingitana (L.) Roth, Simethis mattiazzi (Vandelli) Sacc., Thymelaea tartonraira (L.) All., etc. On the other hand, the floristic heritage of Marettimo island seems to be vulnerable. Infact, a more detailed analysis of the dynamics of its vascular flora permits to identify three major processes: 1) the rarefaction and even the extinction of many plants typical to pre-forest, forest and rocky slopes communities, as Centaurea parlatoris Heldr., Centaurea ucriae Lacaita subsp. ucriae, Erica sicula Guss. subsp. sicula, Fumana ericoides (Cav.) Gandoger, Satureja microphylla (Dum.-Urville) Guss., etc.; 2) the rapid vanishing of many plants linked to abandoned agroecosystems; 3) the recent arrival of several allochthonous plants. This trend and the extreme interest of the local flora suggest the urgent need for adopting more effective and dynamic conservation measures of the territory, i.e. by instituting a nature reserve as soon as possible.