Aims In serpentinitic areas non-endemic plants suffer from the serpentine syndrome, due to high Ni and Mg concentrations, low nutrients and Ca/Mg ratio. We evaluated the environment-soil-vegetation relationships in a xeric inneralpine area (NW Italy), where the inhibited pedogenesis should enhance parent material influences on vegetation. Methods Site conditions, topsoil properties, plant associations and species on and off serpentinite were statistically associated (51 sites). Results Serpentine soils had higher Mg and Ni concentrations, but did not differ from non-serpentine ones in nutrient contents. The 15 vegetation clusters often showed substrate specificity. Two components of the Canonical Analysis of Principal Coordinates, respectively related to Mg and to Ni and heat load, identified serpentine vegetation. Random Forests showed that several species were positively correlated with Ni and/or Ca/Mg or Mg, some were negatively associated with high Ni, Mg excess affected only few species. Considering only serpentine sites, nutrients and microclimate were most important. Conclusions Ni excess most often precludes the presence of plant species on serpentinite, while an exclusion due to Mg is rarer. Endemic species are mostly adapted to both factors. Nutrient scarcity was not specific of serpentine soils in the considered environment. Considering only serpentine sites, nutrient and microclimatic gradients drove vegetation variability.

Relationships between serpentine soils and vegetation in a xeric inner-Alpine environment / M. D'Amico, E. Bonifacio, E. Zanini. - In: PLANT AND SOIL. - ISSN 0032-079X. - 376:1-2(2014 Nov 16), pp. 111-128. [10.1007/s11104-013-1971-y]

Relationships between serpentine soils and vegetation in a xeric inner-Alpine environment

M. D'Amico
;
E. Zanini
2014

Abstract

Aims In serpentinitic areas non-endemic plants suffer from the serpentine syndrome, due to high Ni and Mg concentrations, low nutrients and Ca/Mg ratio. We evaluated the environment-soil-vegetation relationships in a xeric inneralpine area (NW Italy), where the inhibited pedogenesis should enhance parent material influences on vegetation. Methods Site conditions, topsoil properties, plant associations and species on and off serpentinite were statistically associated (51 sites). Results Serpentine soils had higher Mg and Ni concentrations, but did not differ from non-serpentine ones in nutrient contents. The 15 vegetation clusters often showed substrate specificity. Two components of the Canonical Analysis of Principal Coordinates, respectively related to Mg and to Ni and heat load, identified serpentine vegetation. Random Forests showed that several species were positively correlated with Ni and/or Ca/Mg or Mg, some were negatively associated with high Ni, Mg excess affected only few species. Considering only serpentine sites, nutrients and microclimate were most important. Conclusions Ni excess most often precludes the presence of plant species on serpentinite, while an exclusion due to Mg is rarer. Endemic species are mostly adapted to both factors. Nutrient scarcity was not specific of serpentine soils in the considered environment. Considering only serpentine sites, nutrient and microclimatic gradients drove vegetation variability.
Ultramafic rocks; serpentinite; pedogenesis; Serpentine syndrome; soil fertility; Nickel
Settore AGR/14 - Pedologia
Article (author)
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
2014 D'Amico et al Plant & Soil.pdf

accesso riservato

Tipologia: Publisher's version/PDF
Dimensione 777.5 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
777.5 kB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri   Richiedi una copia
Pubblicazioni consigliate

Caricamento pubblicazioni consigliate

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/873475
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 14
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 13
social impact