A first checklist of the alien-dominated vegetation in Italy
expand article infoDaniele Viciani, Marisa Vidali§, Daniela Gigante|, Rossano Bolpagni, Mariacristina Villani#, Alicia Teresa Rosario Acosta¤, Michele Adorni«, Michele Aleffi», Marina Allegrezza˄, Claudia Angiolini˅, Silvia Assini¦, Simonetta Bagellaˀ, Gianmaria Bonariˁ, Maurizio Bovio, Francesco Bracco, Giuseppe Brunduˀ, Gabriella Buffa, Marco Caccianiga, Lucilla Carnevali, Simona Ceschin, Giampiero Ciaschetti, Annalena Cogoni, Valter Di Cecco, Bruno Foggi, Anna Rita Frattaroli, Piero Genovesi, Rodolfo Gentili, Lorenzo Lazzaro, Michele Lonati‡‡, Fernando Lucchese, Andrea Mainetti‡‡, Mauro Mariotti§§, Pietro Minissale||, Bruno Paura¶¶, Mauro Pellizzari##, Enrico Vito Perrino¤¤««, Gianfranco Pirone»», Laura Poggio˄˄, Livio Poldini§, Silvia Poponessi˅˅, Irene Prisco¦¦, Filippo Prosserˀˀ, Marta Puglisiˁˁ, Leonardo Rosati₵₵, Alberto Selvaggiℓℓ, Lucio Sottovia₰₰, Giovanni Spampinato₱₱, Angela Stanisci₳₳, Adriano Stinca₴₴, Roberto Venanzoni˅˅, Lorenzo Lastrucci₣₣
‡ University of Florence, Department of Biology, Florence, Italy
§ University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy
| University of Perugia, Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences, Perugia, Italy
¶ Department of Chemistry, Life Sciences and Environmental Sustainability, University of Parma, Parma, Italy
# Botanical Garden of Padua, University of Padua, Padova, Italy
¤ University of Rome 3, Department of Sciences, Rome, Italy
« Via degli Alpini 7, 43037 Lesignano de’ Bagni (Parma), Italy
» University of Camerino, Camerino, Italy
˄ Marche Polytechnic University, Ancona, Italy
˅ University of Siena, Siena, Italy
¦ University of Pavia, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Pavia, Italy
ˀ University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy
ˁ Masaryk University, Brno, Czechoslovakia
₵ Comitato Scientifico, Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali “Efisio Noussan”, Saint Pierre (AO), Italy
ℓ Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy
₰ Università Ca’ Foscari Dorsoduro 3246, 30123 Venezia, Venezia, Italy
₱ University of Milan, Department of Biosciences, Milano, Italy
₳ Affiliation, City, Italy
₴ Department of Sciences, University of Roma Tre, Roma, Italy
₣ Ufficio Botanico, Parco Nazionale della Majella, Via Badia 28, Sulmona (L’Aquila), Italy
₮ University of Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy
₦ Via Napoli 50, Fara San Martino (Chieti), Italy
₭ Department of Biology, University of Florence, Firenze, Italy
₲ University of L'Aquila, L'Aquila, Italy
‽ Institute for Environmental Protection and Research, and Chair IUCN Invasive Species Specialist Group, Italy, Rome, Italy
₩ Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Milano-Bicocca, Milano, Italy
₸ University of Florence, Firenze, Italy
‡‡ Department of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences, University of Torino, Torino, Italy
§§ Università di Genova. DISTAV. Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, dell'Ambiente e della Vita, Genova, Italy
|| Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences, University of Catania, Catania, Italy
¶¶ Department of Agriculture, Environment and Food Sciences, Campobasso, Italy
## Istituto Comprensivo “Bentivoglio”, Poggio Renatico (FE), Italy
¤¤ CIHEAM – Istituto Agronomico Mediterraneo di Bari, Bari, Italy
«« CIHEAM, Valenzano, Italy
»» Department of Life, Health & Environmental Sciences, University of L’Aquila, L'Aquila, Italy
˄˄ Scientific Research and Biodiversity Service, Gran Paradiso National Park, Cogne (AO), Italy
˅˅ University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy
¦¦ Universita degli studi Roma Tre, Roma, Italy
ˀˀ Fondazione Museo Civico di Rovereto, Largo Santa Caterina 41, 38068 Rovereto (Trento), Italy
ˁˁ University of Catania, Catania, Italy
₵₵ University of Basilicata, Potenza, Italy
ℓℓ IInstitute for Timber Plants and the Environment, Turin, Italy
₰₰ Ufficio Biodiversità e Rete Natura 2000, Provincia Autonoma di Trento, Trento, Italy
₱₱ Mediterranea University of Reggio Calabria, Reggio Calabria, Italy
₳₳ Università degli studi del Molise, Termoli, Italy
₴₴ University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, via Vivaldi 43, 81100 Caserta, Italy
₣₣ Sistema Museale di Ateneo, Firenze, Italy
Open Access


This study provides a first step toward the knowledge of the alien-dominated and co-dominated plant communities present in Italy. The first ever checklist of the alien phytocoenoses described or reported in literature for the Italian territory has been compiled, produced by data-mining in national and local thematic literature. The resulting vegetation-type draft-list has been checked in the light of the most recent syntaxonomic documentation and updated with regards to syntaxonomy and nomenclature, with special reference to the frame proposed in the Italian Vegetation Prodrome. The list includes 27 vascular and one bryophyte vegetation classes, hosting 194 low rank alien-dominated syntaxa. The different vegetation types detected for each syntaxonomic class and macro-vegetation group, defined by physiognomical and ecological attributes, are discussed.


biodiversity, conservation, habitat, Invasive Alien Species, phytosociology, plant communities, syntaxonomy, threats


Biological invasions are an ever-increasing global process arising from the intentional or accidental human-mediated introduction of species to areas outside their native range, overcoming natural dispersal mechanisms and biogeographic barriers (Richardson and Pyšek 2006; Blackburn et al. 2014; Seebens et al. 2018).

The consideration and debate on Invasive Alien Species (IAS) date back to long ago (Allan 1936; Egler 1942; Baker 1948; Elton 1958). In the last few decades, invasion science has emerged, becoming a relevant discipline of its own (Richardson et al. 2000; Richardson and Pyšek 2006; Richardson 2011), also as a consequence of the increasing rates of alien species’ introductions at the global scale (Seebens et al. 2017, 2018) with no exception in Europe (DAISIE 2009) and in the Mediterranean (Hulme et al. 2008).

Biological invasions are nowadays widely recognized as an important component of human-induced global environmental change (Vitousek et al. 1997; Parmesan and Yohe 2003; Vilà et al. 2011; Vilà and Hulme 2017), being the second most common threat associated to species that underwent extinction in recent times (Bellard et al. 2016). Despite the accumulation of rigorous evidence of its importance to science and society, invasion biology has been the target of criticisms from scientists and academics who do not agree on the role of alien taxa as one of the greatest extinction threat at global scale (Davis 2011; Richardson and Ricciardi 2013; Pearce 2015; Russell and Blackburn 2017; Ricciardi and Ryan 2018). However, it is renowned that the establishment and spread of IAS can drastically affect the native biodiversity by changing community composition, biotic interactions and other ecosystem processes (Vilà et al. 2011; Pyšek et al. 2012; Vilà and Hulme 2017), as well as by replacing it with common and widespread taxa (McKinney and Lockwood 1999; Hahs and McDonnell 2016), and can promote alternative successional trajectories that may dramatically affect the landscape (Williamson 1996; McKinney and Lockwood 1999; Weber 2003; Acosta et al. 2007; Del Vecchio et al. 2013; Gaertner et al. 2014; Stinca et al. 2015; Malavasi et al. 2018).

An alien organism needs to overcome geographical, environmental, and reproductive barriers to colonize a new region and spread over wide areas. In this process, some factors and traits can be more significant than others in explaining its success and therefore its invasiveness (Van Kleunen et al. 2015). Particularly, the concept of invasiveness of plant species has been integrated with that of propagule pressure and of "invasibility" of habitats and plant communities, i.e. the susceptibility of an environment to invasions by alien species, as different habitats and phytocoenoses may be more invasible than others and show different degrees of resistance/resilience (Rejmánek 1989; Lonsdale 1999; Rejmánek et al. 2005; Richardson and Pyšek 2006). All these concepts have been included in the unifying theory of invasion syndromes (Perkins and Nowak 2013).

Patterns of distribution and abundance of IAS depend on a number of drivers including introduction history and pathways, life traits, availability of potentially invasible ecosystems, residence time, disturbance (Wilson et al. 2007; Carranza et al. 2010; Richardson et al. 2011; Comin et al. 2011; Dainese and Poldini 2012; Jucker et al. 2013). It is acknowledged that anthropogenic drivers play a crucial role in the establishment and spread of alien species (Pyšek and Richardson 2006; Pyšek et al. 2010a, 2010b; Bolpagni and Piotti 2015; Lazzaro et al. 2017; Stinca et al. 2017), however alien species showed to be largely constrained also by the same broad environmental factors acting on the native vegetation (Rouget et al. 2015). The same applies to IAS populations as well, as it has been demonstrated that what is good for natives is good for aliens too (Pyšek and Richardson 2006; Dalle Fratte et al. 2019).

Vascular plants are the most investigated taxonomic group in the field of invasive biology, and Europe devoted great efforts to their study, being the second continent (after North America) for investigative endeavour on plant invasions (Pyšek et al. 2009; Early et al. 2016). However, in spite of a huge scientific production about alien species numbers, ecology, impacts and distribution (for a synthesis at the European level, see DAISIE 2009 and Galasso et al. 2018 for Italy), their patterns and co-occurrence dynamics have only recently started to be in the spotlight, together with the factors driving alien plant assemblages (Hui et al. 2013; Pyšek and Chytrý 2014; Rouget et al. 2015).

A number of studies addressed the key role of cover and dominance of alien species to understand the invasion patterns (Lundholm and Larson 2004; Smith et al. 2004; Crall et al. 2006; Chytrý et al. 2008, 2009; Pyšek et al. 2010a, 2010b). This seems to some extent more important than alien species number, suggesting the hypothesis that the more an alien taxon becomes dominant in a vegetation type, the stronger the impact on native species diversity might be. This approach gave a pulse to research on alien plant species assemblages, and recently investigations on IAS have been addressed also at the community scale and benefitted from the currently available large databases of vegetation plots (see, e.g., Dengler et al. 2011; Landucci et al. 2012; Del Vecchio et al. 2015; Chytrý et al. 2016; Sperandii et al. 2018; Bonari et al. 2019).

A study by Chytrý et al. (2008) demonstrated that the habitat type is a reliable predictor of the level of plant invasion. This paper took into account patterns of plant invasions across habitats at the European scale, suggesting precious insights for biodiversity conservation and habitat monitoring, especially when considering the acknowledged correspondence between syntaxonomic types and habitats sensu Dir. 92/43/EEC (European Commission 1992, 2013; Evans 2010; Biondi et al. 2012; Viciani et al. 2016). Indeed, alien species have been listed among the causes of habitat decline and loss also in the most recent red-list assessments, both at European (Janssen et al. 2016) and Italian scale (Gigante et al. 2018).

Some authors started to qualify and quantify the role of alien species in different vegetation and habitat types, and to point out the functional role that alien species play in plant communities (Celesti-Grapow et al. 2010; Pyšek and Chytrý 2014; Prisco et al. 2016). Moreover, habitat misclassification can be favoured by the presence of alien species (Sarmati et al. 2019). However, to date only few studies focussed on alien-dominated plant communities and the role of aliens in natural assemblages. With notable exceptions (e.g. Jurko 1964; Hadač and Sofron 1980; Ubaldi 2003; Vítková and Kolbek 2010; Sîrbu and Oprea 2011; Allegrezza et al. 2019), the large majority of vegetation studies, especially outside Europe, are still mostly focused on natural and semi-natural phytocoenoses with few or no aliens (Chytrý et al. 2009; Pyšek and Chytrý 2014).

Despite a long-dated Italian tradition of phytosociological studies, a national synthesis of the alien-dominated (and co-dominated) plant communities thriving in Italy has never been produced yet. Therefore, the present research aims at taking the first step toward the filling of this knowledge gap.

The European and national projects dedicated to IAS, which involved and currently still involve research academic centres and institutions, are numerous in Italy. Some of them have helped to gather a significant amount of information on invasive plant and animal species. Among the most recent, addressing non-native plant species, their impact and their management, as well as the awareness of the general public on these topics, we can mention: LIFE ASAP (, LIFE GESTIRE IP2020 (, LIFE REDUNE (, MARITTIMO ALIEM (

The present work is the result of a research agreement between SISV (the Italian Society for Vegetation Science) and ISPRA (the Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research), with financial support from the Italian Ministry of Environment, aimed at supporting the implementation of Regulation EU 2014/1143 (updated by EU Reg. 2017/1263) on the prevention and management of the introduction and spread of invasive alien species. In particular, the general agreement focused on: i) the update of the Database of Italian Alien Species (DIAS) with reference to their impacts on the ecosystems and the most threatened habitats and ii) the identification of the alien-dominated or co-dominated plant communities occurring in Italy. The outcomes of the latter are here presented. The research on alien plant communities and habitats was carried out through the collaboration of a wide working group of experts led by a Coordinating Committee composed by SISV members.


A dedicated SISV working team, formed by national and local experts, collected all the thematic literature related to terrestrial and freshwater alien-dominated and co-dominated vegetation. On the basis of this bibliographic dataset, a selection of all vegetation data was carried out, with special attention to nomenclature and syntaxonomic classification. All the existing national and regional vegetation databases (e.g. LiSy –; Poldini et al. 1985; Poldini 1991, 2002, 2009; Gallizia Vuerich et al. 1999; Brullo et al. 2001; Gigante et al. 2012; Landucci et al. 2012; Evangelista et al. 2016), together with the regional bibliographic sources (e.g. Poldini 1989; Poldini and Vidali 1989; Poldini et al. 1991, 1999), were consulted. Data concerning each phytocoenosis were selected if one or more alien species played a substantial role in the analysed vegetation unit. In particular, the SISV Coordinating Committee collected and checked the information and selected the data whenever:

the analysed low rank syntaxon (association, subassociation, phytocoenon) was dominated or co-dominated by one or more alien plant species; a cover value ≥ 3 according to the "Braun-Blanquet" scale (Braun-Blanquet 1979) for alien species cover in each relevé has been set as threshold; if, instead of the "Braun-Blanquet" scale, the "Pignatti" scale was used in the bibliographical reference (Pignatti and Mengarda 1962), the cover value threshold was set to ≥ 2, i.e. 20-40%;

the alien species name was included in the name of the syntaxon, by that implying that it is a characteristic/differential/diagnostic or somehow important taxon for the definition of the syntaxon, or even dominating and determining its vertical structure (as stated in Art. 10b of the International Code of Phytosociological Nomenclature: Theurillat et al. 2020).

Starting from this selected dataset, a draft syntaxonomic list was produced. The names of the plant communities and their syntaxonomic attributions at higher ranks have been acknowledged (and are here reported) in the same form as published by the original Authors. In case of inconsistencies or discrepancies, a specific comment has been provided.

The syntaxonomic scheme has then been updated in accordance with the Italian Vegetation Prodrome (Biondi et al. 2014;, which however does not take into considerations syntaxa below the alliance level. Relevant differences and discrepancies with other syntaxonomic frames, especially regarding the EuroVegChecklist (Mucina et al. 2016), have been commented.

Plant nomenclature in the text follows the Checklists of the vascular flora of Italy (Bartolucci et al. 2018; Galasso et al. 2018) and later updates reported in the “Portal to the flora of Italy” (, to which we referred also to identify the species to be considered as aliens to Italy, including archaeophytes (e.g. Arundo donax, Acanthus mollis subsp. mollis) as well. New hybridogenic species due to xeno-speciation events (e.g. some species of Oenothera or Vitis) were taken into account, when considered as alien taxa by Galasso et al. (2018). In case of species considered alien to an administrative region and native to another one, only the communities reported for the region where the species is alien have been recorded (e.g.: a community dominated by Acanthus mollis subsp. mollis was considered alien to Liguria but not to Sicily, where this species is considered as native, see Minissale et al. 2019).

This process allowed to produce a first checklist of the Italian alien-dominated plant communities. On this ground, some statistics were calculated considering the number of alien vegetation units with reference to i) each resulting syntaxonomic class and ii) homogeneous groups of the resulting syntaxonomic classes, clustered according to their physiognomic and ecological characteristics.

Results and discussion

A comprehensive and annotated checklist of the alien-dominated and co-dominated plant communities occurring in Italy is provided in Appendix I. All phytocoenoses have been framed in an updated syntaxonomic scheme. A specific bibliographical list with references for all the syntaxa quoted in the checklist is available in Appendix II.

The checklist includes a total of 27 classes of vascular plant vegetation and one of bryophyte vegetation, including plant communities dominated or co-dominated by aliens to Italy. The total number of low rank syntaxa (associations/subassociations/communities) amounts to 194.

The number of communities for each class is reported in Fig. 1. As expected, the class with the highest number of alien-dominated plant communities resulted by far Stellarietea mediae, followed by Artemisietea vulgaris. The presence of some higher-rank syntaxa named after and mainly formed by IAS (e.g. the class Robinietea, the order Nicotiano glaucae-Ricinetalia communis) is worth to be noted, which highlights the coenological and physiognomic-structural autonomy of these communities.

The 27 identified classes and some subordinate syntaxa have been grouped in clusters based on their physiognomy and ecology. The considered groups are as follows:

Forest vegetation (Querco-Fagetea, Quercetea ilicis);

Anthropogenic woody vegetation (Robinietea and part of Rhamno-Prunetea);

Alluvial, marshy and riparian woody vegetation (Alnetea, Salici-Populetea, Salicetea, Alnion incanae);

Perennial herbaceous hygrophilous and hygro-nitrophilous vegetation (Galio-Urticetea, Filipendulo-Convolvuletea, Molinio-Arrhenatheretea, Phragmito-Magnocaricetea);

Perennial ruderal herbaceous vegetation (Artemisietea);

Annual ruderal herbaceous vegetation (Stellarietea, Polygono arenastri-Poetea annuae);

Annual herbaceous hygro-nitrophilous vegetation (Bidentetea);

Hydrophitic freshwater vegetation (Potametea, Lemnetea);

Psammophilous vegetation (Euphorbio-Ammophiletea, Cakiletea, Helichryso-Crucianelletea).

Results of the community rates per class groups are shown in Fig. 2. The group including the classes of annual ruderal herbaceous vegetation (Stellarietea mediae and Polygono arenastri-Poetea annuae) hosts about 25% of the total number of the detected alien-dominated communities. Stellarietea mediae is by definition characterized by high rates of alien plant species, especially archaeophytes ( However, data analysis showed that this explains only part of the story. Actually, the involved alien species and genera are mainly represented by neophytes (e.g. Robinia pseudoacacia, Artemisia, Amaranthus, Erigeron, Euphorbia, Solidago Indeed, it is known that neophytes mostly occur in strongly anthropogenic areas, whose habitats appear to be not only the most invaded, but also the most invasible (Pyšek et al. 2002, 2005; Deutschewitz et al. 2003; Kühn et al. 2003; Chytrý et al. 2008). On the contrary, relatively low- or non-anthropized ecosystems, such as nutrient-poor environments or montane habitats, are least or not invaded (Chytrý et al. 2008; Angiolini et al. 2019). For these reasons, heavily human-impacted environments (i.e. arable lands and fallow fields, urban and industrial areas, aquatic and riparian habitats) show the highest levels of neophyte invasion, as already suggested by previous studies, at least in continental areas (Kowarik 1995; Walter et al. 2005; Richardson and Pyšek 2006; Chytrý et al. 2009; Myśliwy 2014) and, as a consequence, the highest number of alien-dominated plant communities (Bolpagni and Piotti 2015).

Figure 1. 

Number of alien-dominated communities for each syntaxonomic class of the checklist reported in Appendix I.

Figure 2. 

Percentages of alien-dominated communities in physiognomically and ecologically homogeneous groups of classes and subordinate syntaxa, based on the checklist reported in Appendix I.

Also the coastal areas are highly impacted by IAS (Acosta et al. 2007; Carboni et al. 2010; Del Vecchio et al. 2013, 2015; Lazzaro et al. 2017). Indeed, the close connection between invasibility, propagule pressure and habitat disturbance is a widely accepted relationship (Di Castri 1990; Vitousek et al. 1997; Pino et al. 2006; Perkins and Nowak 2013). This is indirectly confirmed in this study, by the fact that many of the less represented groups of alien-dominated communities refer to scarcely invasible environments, such as screes (Thlaspietea rodundifolii) or Mediterranean grass-dominated vegetation (Lygeo-Stipetea). Unexpectedly, our data seem to suggest that psammophilous coastal vegetation experiences low rates of alien community occurrence (Figs 1, 2). However, to correctly interpret this outcome, it should be considered that the collected data might outline a biased picture due to a lack of syntaxonomic investigation and classification for some communities. In support of this hypothesis, it should be noted that many alien coastal communities dominated by Yucca, Agave, Opuntia or Acacia have been noted although not syntaxonomically described yet (Carboni et al. 2010; Santoro et al. 2012; Del Vecchio et al. 2013; Lazzaro et al. 2014, 2015, 2017; Stinca et al. 2017). Moreover, low numbers of alien-dominated communities described for a particular environment do not imply low rates of invasion, as even few IAS can spread dramatically to the detriment of native plant communities. For instance, the neo-phytocoenoses formed by just two species of Carpobrotus are nowadays massively distributed along the coasts of the whole Europe (Souza-Alonso et al. 2019), possibly leading to a peculiar coenological diversity which, however, has never been formalized in syntaxonomic terms yet.

Disturbance regimes are often related to fluctuation in resource availability, indicated as a key driver for invasions, in relation to the intermittent resource enrichment or release (Alpert et al. 2000; Davis et al. 2000; Richardson and Pyšek 2006). For this reason, besides strongly anthropized habitats, also aquatic and riparian ecosystems are particularly susceptible and extremely vulnerable to biological invasions and generally show high rates of alien species, due to their intrinsically medium-high levels of disturbance (Di Castri 1990; Rauchich and Reader 1999; Pyšek and Prach 1993; Alpert et al. 2000; Bolpagni 2013; Bolpagni and Piotti 2015). As it is known, alien hydrophytes often become dominant in these environments, and give rise to species-poor alien communities. This is confirmed by our results (Figs 1, 2) where, despite the relative scarcity of ecological niches in aquatic environments, the percentage of alien hygrophytes communities is relevant (Lazzaro et al. 2019). This can have severe consequences considering that alien aquatic plants, as primary producers and often structural component of the ecosystems, can drastically transform the structure of freshwater habitats and their water quality (Valley and Bremigan 2002; Rommens et al. 2003; Perna and Burrows 2005; Ricciardi and MacIsaac 2011; Brundu et al. 2012; Brundu 2015; Ceschin et al. 2016, 2019).

Other habitats also linked to water (and to the related high levels of disturbance) show a high number of alien-dominated communities. It is the case of riparian non-woody habitats, or of annual and perennial herbaceous hygrophilous and hygro-nitrophilous vegetation types (Fig. 2), which reach high percentages (the latter more than 18%).

Also the alien communities attributed by many authors to Querco-Fagetea have a prevalent mesohygrophilous character (Appendix I). The most relevant woody invasive alien species, also found in the anthropogenic neophytic woody vegetation (e.g. Robinia pseudoacacia, Ailanthus altissima, Amorpha fruticosa, and many others) can be defined as “ecosystem engineers”, i.e. species that shape habitats and/or cause changes to their state and resources availability (Vitousek 1986; Schmitz et al. 1997; Jones et al. 1997; Crooks 2002; Başnou 2009; Başnou and Vilá 2009; Djurdjevic et al. 2011; Benesperi et al. 2012; Cierjacks et al. 2013; Vítková et al. 2017; Lazzaro et al. 2018). The replacement of native species by alien plants, even when apparently ecologically equivalent, almost always negatively affects the ecosystems, especially if those species act as “ecosystem engineers” (Brown et al. 2006; Wilson and Ricciardi 2009; Lazzaro et al. 2018; Sitzia et al. 2018; Uboni et al. 2019).

In the checklist we also recorded a bryophyte community dominated by the alien Campylopus introflexus, which in Europe is considered a neophytic moss, introduced from the Southern hemisphere and rapidly expanding (Hill et al. 2006). It was detected along Mediterranean ponds and neighbouring wood glades (Cogoni et al. 2002; Puglisi et al. 2016; Poponessi et al. 2016, 2018) and its distribution deserves to be monitored.

Few considerations can be made on the number of alien species involved in the communities reported in the checklist. According to Galasso et al. (2018), there are 791 non-native naturalized species in the Italian territory, 221 of which are considered invasive in at least one region. Our checklist shows that, based on the current knowledge, less than one hundred of these species (precisely 88) perform a dominant or co-dominant role in the considered plant communities. Only five of these (Ailanthus altissima, Elodea nuttallii, Lagarosiphon major, Myriophyllum aquaticum, Cenchrus setaceus) are considered IAS of Union Concern (see, however this number grows considerably when downscaling at the national level, with 76 of them (i.e. more than 86% of the total) to be considered as IAS in Italy (Galasso et al. 2018). Again, this can be traced back to the fact that most of these IAS are neophytes, many have been introduced in relatively recent times, and probably there was not enough time to give rise to such a degree of invasion to be relevant at European scale yet. Additionally, also at the national scale these invasions are often very localized or at very early stages, and their study from the phytosociological point of view is still a minor topic (although emergent).

At the same time, the continuous rate of introduction-naturalisation-invasion of new alien plants is an ongoing process that should be detected just in early stages, in order to prevent serious damage to native biodiversity. The numbers here reported raise the alarm for planning conservation biodiversity studies, monitoring protocols and management activities.


The here presented first checklist of the alien-dominated plant communities in Italy should not be considered exhaustive. It is the first step toward a better understanding of distribution, ecology and invasion processes of alien species at community level in this country. Our review represents a screenshot of the current knowledge and suggests that a serious lack of investigation for certain vegetation types (and probably for certain areas of the country) has to be highlighted.

The present checklist of the alien vegetation in Italy can represent a very useful tool, not only for stimulating further studies and investigations but also for prevention, management and monitoring purposes. As emphasized by Olaczek (1982), the phytosociological school, taking into account the whole floristic composition of plant communities, was one of the first approaches able to detect the effects of alien species on the diversity of natural phytocoenoses and to include these new communities in the syntaxonomical vegetation classification. In fact, the “floristic and phylogenetic homogenization” (e.g. Pino et al. 2009) and the “degeneration of phytocoenoses” by means of a progressive modification of structure and floristic composition due to the alien species invasion, concepts expressed by Olaczek (1982) and Faliński (1998a, 1998b), can transform a native plant community into an athropogenic one, or even in a “novel ecosystem” (Lugo 2015), susceptible to be classified in a new syntaxonomic frame.

This becomes particularly important when considering the close link between plant communities syntaxonomically described and Natura 2000 habitat types, as listed in the Annex I to the Directive 92/43/EEC (European Commission 1992, 2013). It is mandatory for Member States to conserve Annex I habitats in Europe in a favourable conservation status (Evans 2012; Gigante et al. 2016). Undoubtedly, a better understanding of the processes by which a plant community and a habitat type are firstly invaded and then dominated by alien species, together with the comprehension of the successional (and syntaxonomic) implications of those processes, can effectively support the monitoring and management of biodiversity and protected areas.


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Appendix I.Download as CSV 

Alien-dominated and co-dominated plant communities in Italy (Syntaxa authors are abbreviated according to Izco 2002)

Class Order Alliance Association/Phytocoenon Reference number in the specific bibliographical list of Supplement 1
2 LEMNETEA MINORIS O. Bolòs & Masclans 1955
2.1 LEMNETALIA MINORIS O. Bolòs & Masclans 1955
Lemna minuta community 115
2.1.1 Lemnion minoris O. Bolòs & Masclans 1955
Azollo filiculoidis-Lemnetum minuscolae Felzines & Loiseau 1991 82, 83, 90
Ceratophyllo-Azolletum filiculoidis Nedelcu 1967 56, 58
Lemna minuta community 110
Lemnetum minuto-gibbae Liberman Cruz, Pedrotti & Venanzoni 1988 56
Lemno-Azolletum filiculoidis Br.-Bl. 1952 40, 115
3 POTAMETEA PECTINATI Klika in Klika & V. Novák 1941
3.1.1 Potamion pectinati (Koch 1926) Libbert 1931
Callitricho-Elodeetum canadensis Passarge 1964 ex Passarge 1994 39
Elodea canadensis and Potamogeton crispus community 91
Elodea nuttallii community 28
Elodeo-Potametum crispi (Pignatti 1953) Passarge 1994 40
Elodeo-Ranunculetum Richard 1975 114
Lagarosiphon major community 28
Myriophyllum aquaticum community 64
Potametum crispi Soó 1927 Myriophyllum aquaticum variant 64
Potametum lucentis Hueck 1931 Lagarosiphon major variant 116
3.1.2 Nymphaeion albae Oberdorfer 1957
Hydrocotyletum ranunculoidis Corbetta & Lorenzoni 1976 42
3.1.3 Ranunculion aquatilis Passarge 1964
Callitriche stagnalis and Myriophyllum aquaticum community 64
Lemno-Callitrichetum cophocarpae (Mierwald 1988) Passarge 1992
Myriophyllum aquaticum variant
12 BIDENTETEA TRIPARTITAE Tüxen, Lohmeyer & Preising ex Von Rochow 1951
12.1 BIDENTETALIA TRIPARTITAE Br.-Bl. & Tüxen ex Klika in Klika & Hadac 1944
12.1.1 Bidention tripartitae Nordhagen 1940
Bidens frondosus community 57
Bidenti-Polygonetum mitis (Von Rochow 1951) Tüxen 1979
Bidens frondosa variant
Bidenti-Polygonetum mitis (Von Rochow 1951) Tüxen 1979
echinochloetosum crus-galli Baldoni & Biondi 1993
Polygonetum hydropiperis Passarge 1965 Bidens frondosus facies 61
Xanthio italici-Polygonetum persicariae O. Bolòs 1957 61, 60
Xanthio italici-Persicarietum maculosae O. Bolòs 1957 nom. mut. propos.
Abutilon theophrasti variant
Xanthium orientale subsp. italicum community 46
12.1.2 Chenopodion rubri (Tüxen 1960) Hilbig & Jage 1972
Cyperetum esculenti Wisskirchen 1995 62
Polygono-Xanthietum italici Pirola & Rossetti 1974 1, 7, 13, 20, 29, 38, 43, 44, 46, 53, 55, 63, 68, 70, 75, 76, 81, 92, 94, 95
Polygono-Xanthietum italici Pirola & Rossetti 1974
Ambrosia artemisiifolia variant
16.1.1 Phragmition communis Koch 1926
Scirpetum maritimi (Christiansen 1934) Tüxen 1937
Paspalum distichum variant
16.3.1 Magnocaricion elatae Koch 1926
Cyperus eragrostis community 16
Cyperus glomeratus community 43
16.5.1 Glycerio fluitantis-Sparganion neglecti Br.-Bl. & Sissingh in Boer 1942
Eleocharitetum palustris Schennikov 1919
paspaletosum paspaloidis Biondi et al. 2002
EUPHORBIO PARALIAE-AMMOPHILETEA AUSTRALIS Géhu & Rivas-Martínez in Rivas-Martínez, Asensi, Díaz-Garretas, Molero, Valle, Cano, Costa & T.E. Díaz 2011
20.1.1 Ammophilion australis Br.-Bl. 1933 em. Géhu & Géhu-Franck 1988
Carpobrotus acinaciformis community 88
Carpobrotus edulis community 88
Xanthietum-Ammophiletum Pignatti 1953 91
21 CAKILETEA MARITIMAE Tüxen & Preising ex Br.-Bl. & Tüxen 1952
21.1.1 Euphorbion peplis Tüxen 1950
Cakilo-Xanthietum italici Pignatti 1953 1, 9, 12, 38, 91, 93
Salsolo kali-Cakiletum maritimae Costa et Mansanet 1981 corr. Rivas-Martínez et al. 1992
xanthietosum (Pignatti 1953) Géhu & Scoppola 1984
17, 24, 48, 70, 91,106
Xanthio italici-Cenchretum incerti Biondi, Brugiapaglia, Allegrezza & Ballelli 1992 24, 100, 109
Xanthio italici-Cenchretum longispini Poldini et al. 1999 100, 106
HELICHRYSO-CRUCIANELLETEA MARITIMAE (Sissingh 1974) Géhu, Rivas-Martínez & & Tüxen 1973 em. Sissingh 1974
HELICHRYSO-CRUCIANELLETALIA MARITIMAE Géhu, Rivas-Martínez & Tüxen 1973 em. Sissingh 1974
22.1.1 Crucianellion maritimae Rivas Goday & Rivas-Martínez 1958
Crucianello-Helichrysetum microphylli Bartolo, Brullo, De Marco, Dinelli, Signorello & Spampinato 1992 Carpobrotus acinaciformis variant 125
Ephedro-Helichrysetum microphylli Valsecchi & Bagella 1991
Carpobrotus acinaciformis variant
31.1.1 Parietarion judaicae Segal 1969
Cheiranthetum cheirii Segal 1962 46
Erigeronetum karvinskiani Oberdorfer 1969 46, 54, 70
Oenothera biennis and Scrophularia canina community 114
34 ARTEMISIETEA VULGARIS Lohmeyer, Preising & Tüxen ex Von Rochow 1951
Sporobolus vaginiflorus community 104
Senecio mikanioides community 101
Helianthus tuberosus community 99, 104
Solidago gigantea community 70, 120
Senecio inaequidens community 99
34.1.1 Arction lappae Tüxen 1937
Artemisietum verlotorii Lang 1973 41, 99, 101
Arundo donax community 43
Saponario-Artemisietum verlotorum Biondi & Baldoni 1993 15, 63, 72
Sileno albae-Acanthetum mollis Biondi, Allegrezza & Filigheddu 1990 21
34.2 AGROPYRETALIA INTERMEDII-REPENTIS Oberdorfer, Müller & Görs in Müller & Görs 1969
34.2.1 Convolvulo arvensis-Agropyrion repentis Görs 1966
Artemisia verlotiorum community 13, 127
Sorghum halepense community 46
34.4.4 Bromo-Oryzopsion miliaceae O. Bolòs 1970
Boerhaavio-Oryzopsietum miliaceae Brullo 1984 33
34.5 ONOPORDETALIA ACANTHII Br.-Bl. & Tüxen ex Klika in Klika & Hadač 1944
Reynoutria japonica community 118
Artemisia verlotiorum community 104
Helianthus tuberosus community 29
Senecio inaequidens community 29
Solidago gigantea community 29
34.5.1 Onopordion acanthii Br.-Bl. in Br.-Bl., Gajewski, Wraber & Walas 1936
Erigeron canadense and Broussonetia papyrifera community 91
34.5.2 Dauco carotae-Melilotion albi Görs 1966
Artemisia verlotiorum community 47, 118
Artemisio absinthii-Senecionetum inaequidentis Pirone 2001 45, 96
Echio-Melilotetum Tüxen 1947
Senecio inaequidens and Erigeron annuus variant
Echio-Melilotetum Tüxen 1947 Oenothera biennis (aggr.) variant 31
Erigeron annuus community 78
Helianthus tuberosus community 29
Oenothera biennis community 123
Senecio inaequidens community 29, 31, 129
Solidago gigantea community 29
34.6 CARTHAMETALIA LANATI Brullo in Brullo & Marcenò 1985
34.6.2 Onopordion illyrici Oberdorfer 1954
Carduo pycnocephali-Nicotianetum glaucae Biondi, Blasi, Brugiapaglia, Fogu & Mossa 1994 23
36 ORYZETEA SATIVAE Miyawaki 1960
36.1.1 Oryzo sativae-Echinochloion oryzoidis O. Bolòs & Masclans 1955
Heteranthera community 39
NICOTIANO GLAUCAE-RICINETALIA COMMUNIS Rivas-Martínez, Fernández-González & Loidi 1999
Nicotiano glaucae-Ricinion communis Rivas-Martínez, Fernández-González & Loidi 1999
Nicotiano glaucae-Ricinetum communis (Br.-Bl. & Maire 1924) de Foucault 1993 37, 87
Polycarpo-Nicotianetum glaucae Sunding 1972 37
POLYGONO ARENASTRI-POETEA ANNUAE Rivas-Martínez 1975 corr. Rivas-Martínez, Báscones, T.E. Diáz, Fernández-González & Loidi 1991
Eleusinetum indicae (Slavnic 1951) Pignatti 1953 30
Euphorbio-Oxalidetum corniculatae Lorenzoni 1964 30
38.2.1 Polycarpion tetraphylli Rivas-Martínez 1975
Eleusine indica community 91
Eleusinetum indicae (Slavnic 1951) Pignatti 1953 46, 70, 99, 104
Euphorbietum maculatae Poldini 1989 70, 99, 101, 104
Euphorbio-Oxalidetum corniculatae Lorenzoni 1964 38, 99, 101
39 STELLARIETEA MEDIAE Tüxen, Lohmeyer & Preising ex Von Rochow 1951
SOLANO NIGRI-POLYGONETALIA CONVOLVULI (Sissingh in Westhoff, Dijk, Passchier & Sissingh 1946) O. Bolòs 1962
Digitario ischaemi-Setarion viridis Sissingh in Westhoff, Dijk, Passchier & Sissingh 1946
Amarantho-Chenopodietum albi (Morariu 1943) Soó 1957 101
Amarantho-Digitarietum sanguinalis Pignatti 1953 67, 71, 91, 101
Chenopodium album and Amaranthus retroflexus community 99
Cynodonto-Sorghetum halepensis (Laban 1974) Kojic 1979 38
Echinochloo-Setarietum pumilae Felföldy 1942 corr. Mucina 1993
xanthietosum italici Poldini et al. 1998
Oxalido-Chenopodietum polyspermi (Br.-Bl. 1921) Sissingh (1942) 1946 (*) 66, 67, 91
Oxalido-Chenopodietum polyspermi (Br.-Bl. 1921) Sissingh (1942) 1946
Galinsoga parviflora (*) subassociation
Panico sanguinalis-Polygonetum persicariae Pignatti 1953
sorghetosum halepensis Baldoni 1995 (*)
Panico sanguinalis-Polygonetum persicariae Pignatti 1953
Acalypha virginica (*) facies
Panico sanguinalis-Polygonetum persicariae Pignatti 1953
Echinochloa oryzoides (*) facies
Panico sanguinalis-Polygonetum persicariae Pignatti 1953
Panicum capillare (*) subassociation
Panico sanguinalis-Polygonetum persicariae Pignatti 1953
Datura stramonium and Portulaca oleracea (*) variant
Panico sanguinalis-Polygonetum persicariae Pignatti 1953
Bolboschoenus maritimus and Paspalum distichum (*) variant
Euphorbio-Galinsogetum ciliatae Passarge 1981 79
Galeopsido tetrahit-Galinsogetum parviflorae Poldini et al. 1998 105
Galinsogo-Portulacetum Br.-Bl. 1949 ex Pedrotti 1959 78, 91
Setario-Echinochloetum colonum A. & O. Bolòs ex O. Bolòs 1956 34, 38
Setario-Galinsogetum parviflorae (Beck 1941) Tüxen 1950 em. Müller & Oberdorfer 70
Setario ambiguae-Cyperetum rotundi Brullo, Scelsi & Spampinato 2001 38
Diplotaxion erucoidis Br.-Bl. in Br.-Bl., Gajewski, Wraber & Walas 1936 em. Brullo & Marcenò 1980
Amaranthus retroflexus community 86
39a.3.5 Fumarion wirtgenii-agrariae Brullo in Brullo & Marcenò 1985
Oxalis pes-caprae community 85, 87
39b.1 CHENOPODIETALIA MURALIS Br.-Bl. in Br.-Bl., Gajewski, Wraber & Walas 1936
39b.1.1 Chenopodion muralis Br.-Bl. in Br.-Bl., Gajewski, Wraber & Walas 1936
Amarantho blitoidis-Chenopodietum ambrosoidis O. Bolòs 1967 46
Amarantho muricati-Chenopodietum ambrosioidis O. Bolòs 1967 34
Amarantho-Chenopodietum ambrosioidis O. Bolòs 1967 34, 38, 99
Conyzetum albidae-canadensis Baldoni & Biondi 1993
Lolium multiflorum variant
Conyzetum albido-canadensis Baldoni & Biondi 1993 46, 101
Conyzo canadensis-Oenotheretum biennis Biondi, Brugiapaglia, Allegrezza & Ballelli 1992 24
Xanthio italici-Daturetum stramoni Fanelli 2002 46
Amaranthus deflexus and Polycarpon tetraphyllon community 91
Datura stramonium community 21
39b.2 THERO-BROMETALIA (Rivas Goday & Rivas-Martínez ex Esteve 1973) O. Bolòs 1975
39b.2.1 Echio plantaginei-Galactition tomentosae O. Bolòs & Molinier 1969
Erigeron canadensis community 121
Galactito-Isatidetum canescentis Brullo 1983 32
39b.3 SISYMBRIETALIA OFFICINALIS J. Tüxen ex W. Matuszkiewicz 1962
39b.3.1 Sisymbrion officinalis Tüxen, Lohmeyer & Preising ex Von Rochow 1951
Artemisietum annuae Fijalcowski 1967 30
Artemisietum annuae Fijalcowski 1967 ambrosietosum Siniscalco & Montacchini 1989 118, 119
Conyzo-Lactucetum serriolae Lohmeyer in Oberdorfer 1957 3, 31, 104
Datura stramonium and Malva neglecta community 67, 91
Erigeron canadensis community 70, 86
Hordeion leporini Br.-Bl. in Br.-Bl., Gajewski, Wraber & Walas 1936 corr. O. Bolòs 1962
Bassia scoparia and Chenopodium ambrosioides community (**) 91
URTICO-SCROPHULARIETALIA PEREGRINAE Brullo ex Biondi, Blasi, Casavecchia & Gasparri in Biondi, Allegrezza, Casavecchia, Galdenzi, Gasparri, Pesaresi, Vagge & Blasi 2014
Oxalis pes-caprae community 70
39b.4.1 Veronico-Urticion urentis Brullo in Brullo & Marcenò 1985
Bromo-Brassicetum sylvestris Brullo & Marcenò 1985 34
Artemisia verlotiorum community 30
Robinia pseudoacacia community 39
40.1.1 Petasition officinalis Sill. 1933 em. Kopecký 1969
Robinia pseudoacacia community 5
40.1.2 Geo-Alliarion Lohmeyer & Oberdorfer ex Görs & Müller 1969
Solidago canadensis community 5, 89
40.1.5 Allion triquetri O. Bolòs 1967
Acantho-Smyrnietum olusatri Brullo & Marcenò 1985 34, 70
Acanthus mollis community 70, 117
CALYSTEGIETALIA SEPIUM Tüxen ex Mucina 1993 nom. mut. propos. Rivas-Martínez, T.E. Díaz, Fernandez-Gonzales, Izco, Loidi, Lousã & Penas 2002
Reynoutria japonica community 31
Helianthus tuberosus community 31
Solidago canadensis and Erigeron annuus community 31
Erigeron annuus community 31
Calystegion sepium Tüxen ex Oberdorfer 1957 nom. mut. propos. Rivas-Martínez, T.E. Díaz, Fernandez-Gonzales, Izco, Loidi, Lousã & Penas 2002
Amorpha fruticosa community 81
Artemisia verlotiorum community 127
Arundini-Convolvuletum sepium (Tüxen & Oberdorfer) O. Bolòs 1962
Artemisia verolotiorum variant
Arundini-Convolvuletum sepium (Tüxen & Oberdorfer 1958) O. Bolòs 1962 11, 15, 34, 40, 46, 80, 99, 101
Arundo donax community 43
Calystegio sylvaticae-Arundinetum donacis Brullo, Scelsi & Spampinato 2001 35, 38, 73, 84, 85, 87
Calystegio-Asteretum lanceolati (Holzner et al. 1978) Passarge 1993 63
Helianthus tuberosus community 15, 63, 71, 127
Humulus scandens communtity 39
Rubus caesius and Amorpha fruticosa community 89
Solidago canadensis community 81, 83
Solidago gigantea community 39, 63, 127
TUBERARIETEA GUTTATAE (Br.-Bl. in Br.-Bl., Roussine & Nègre 1952) Rivas Goday & Rivas-Martínez 1963 nom. mut. propos. Rivas-Martínez, T.E. Díaz, Fernández-González, Izco, Loidi, Lousa & Penas 2002
50.2 MALCOLMIETALIA Rivas Goday 1958
50.3.2 Laguro ovati-Vulpion fasciculatae Géhu & Biondi 1994
Ambrosio coronopifoliae-Lophochloetum pubescentis Biondi, Brugiapaglia, Allegrezza & Ballelli 1992 95, 99, 102
Sileno coloratae-Vulpietum membranaceae (Pignatti 1953) Géhu & Scoppola 1984 ambrosietosum coronopifoliae Pirone 2005 97
LYGEO SPARTI-STIPETEA TENACISSIMAE Rivas-Martínez 1978 nom. conserv. propos. Rivas-Martínez, T.E. Díaz, Fernández-González, Izco, Loidi, Lousa & Penas 2002
55.2 HYPARRHENIETALIA HIRTAE Rivas-Martínez 1978
55.2.1 Hyparrhenion hirtae Br.-Bl., P. Silva & Rozeira 1956
Penniseto setacei-Hyparrhenietum hirtae Gianguzzi, Ilardi & Raimondo 1996 36, 52
56.4.4 Paspalo distichi-Agrostion semiverticillatae Br.-Bl. in Br.-Bl., Roussine & Nègre 1952
Aster squamatus and Inula viscosa community 94
Loto tenuis-Paspaletum paspaloidis Biondi, Casavecchia & Radetic 2002 25, 68
Paspalo distichi-Polypogonetum viridis Br.-Bl. in Br.-Bl., Gajewski, Wraber & Walas 1936 nom. mut. propos. Rivas-Martínez et al. 2002
(= Paspalo distichi-Agrostidetum verticillati Br.-Bl. in Br.-Bl., Roussine & Nègre 1952)
15, 41, 46, 60, 61, 63, 68, 70, 76, 93, 94, 95, 99, 101, 115
Paspalo distichi-Polypogonetum viridis Br.-Bl. in Br.-Bl., Gajewski, Wraber & Walas 1936 nom. mut. propos. Rivas-Martínez et al. 2002
facies with Cyperus eragrostis
Paspalum distichum (= paspaloides) community 19, 81, 103
56.5 PLANTAGINETALIA MAJORIS Tüxen ex Von Rochow 1951
56.5.1 Lolio perennis-Plantaginion majoris Sissingh 1969
Juncetum macri (Diemont et al. 1940) Tüxen 1950 78
Eleusine indica community 91
61.1.1 Cisto cretici-Ericion manipuliflorae Horvatić 1958
Opuntia ficus-indica community 69, 85
Robinia pseudoacacia and Rubus ulmifolius community 6
Robinia pseudoacacia and Sambucus nigra community 70
64.1.1 Berberidion vulgaris Br.-Bl. 1950
"Corno sanguineae-Ligustretum vulgaris” sensu Biondi et al. 1999 non Horvat 1956 amorphetosum fruticosae Biondi, Vagge, Baldoni & Taffetani 1999 27
64.1.2 Cytision sessilifolii Biondi in Biondi, Allegrezza & Guitian 1988
Cercido siliquastri-Rhoetum coriariae Biondi, Allegrezza & Guitian 1988 22
64.3.1 Pruno-Rubion ulmifolii O. Bolòs 1954
Clematido vitalbae-Arundinetum donacis Biondi & Allegrezza 2004 18
65 ALNETEA GLUTINOSAE Br.-Bl. & Tüxen ex Westhoff, Dijk & Passchier 1946
65.1 SALICETALIA AURITAE Doing ex Westhoff in Westhoff & Den Held 1969
65.1.1 Salicion cinereae Müller & Görs 1958
Salicetum cinereae Zolyomi 1931 Amorpha fruticosa variant 65
SALICI PURPUREAE-POPULETEA NIGRAE Rivas-Martínez & Cantó ex Rivas-Martínez, Báscones, T.E. Díaz, Fernández-González & Loidi 2001
68.1 POPULETALIA ALBAE Br.-Bl. ex Tchou 1948
Robinia pseudoacacia community 122
68.1.1 Populion albae Br.-Bl. ex Tchou 1948
Acer negundo community 46
Ailanthus altissima and Robinia pseudoacacia community 6
69.1.1 Salicion albae Soó 1930
Amorpho fruticosae-Salicetum albae Poldini, Vidali, Bracco, Assini & Villani in Poldini, Vidali & Ganis 2011 13, 27, 48, 71, 107
Sicyos angulatus community 40, 112
69.1.2 Salicion triandrae Müller & Görs 1958
Salicetum triandrae (Malcuit 1929) Noirfalise 1955 Amorpha fruticosa variant 27
69.1.4 Salicion incanae Aichinger 1933
Salicetum incano-purpureae Sillinger 1933 Amorpha fruticosa variant 27, 62
70 QUERCETEA ILICIS Br.-Bl. in Br.-Bl., Roussine & Nègre 1952
Sequoia sempervirens community 49
70.1 QUERCETALIA ILICIS Br.-Bl. ex Molinier 1934
70.2.2 Oleo sylvestris-Ceratonion siliquae Br.-Bl. ex Guinochet & Drouineau 1944
Asparago acutifolii-Oleetum sylvestris Bacchetta et al. 2003
Opuntia ficus-indica variant
71 QUERCO ROBORIS-FAGETEA SYLVATICAE Br.-Bl. & Vlieger in Vlieger 1937
Acacia melanoxylon community 49
Euonymus europaeus and Robinia pseudoacacia community 77
Festuca heterophylla and Robinia pseudoacacia community
Arrhenatherum elatius variant
Festuca heterophylla and Robinia pseudoacacia community
Rubus macrophyllus variant
Pinus canariensis community 49
Pinus radiata community 49
Robinia pseudoacacia community 50
Robinia pseudoacacia and Prunus serotina community 113
Sambucus nigra and Robinia pseudoacacia community
Chelidonium majus variant
Sambucus nigra and Robinia pseudoacacia community
Poa trivialis variant
Sambucus nigra and Robinia pseudoacacia community
Rubus gr. discolores variant
71.1 FAGETALIA SYLVATICAE Pawłowski in Pawłowski, Sokołowski & Wallisch 1928
71.1.4 Tilio platyphylli-Acerion pseudoplatani Klika 1955
Robinia pseudoacacia community 50
71.1.6 Carpinion betuli Issler 1931
Prunus serotina community 113
71.1.10 Alnion incanae Pawlowski in Pawlowski, Sokolowski & Wallisch 1928
Amorpha fruticosa community 40
Populus nigra and Robinia pseudoacacia community 26
Robinia pseudoacacia and Rubus ulmifolius community 55
Buddleja davidii community 74
71.2.1 Quercion roboris Malcuit 1929
Robinia pseudoacacia community 50
71.3.3 Crataego laevigatae-Quercion cerridis Arrigoni 1997
Sambuco nigrae-Robinietum pseudacaciae Arrigoni 1997 10
75 ROBINIETEA Jurko ex Hadac & Sofron 1980
75.1 CHELIDONIO-ROBINIETALIA Jurko ex Hadac & Sofron 1980
75.1.1 Balloto nigrae-Robinion Jurko ex Hadac & Sofron 1980
Ailanthus altissima community 88
75.1.2 Bryonio-Robinion Ubaldi, Melloni & Cappelletti in Ubaldi 2003
Ailanthus altissima community 46
Bryonio-Robinietum Ubaldi, Melloni & Cappelletti in Ubaldi 2003 124
Robinia pseudoacacia community 46, 98, 128, 130
Lauro nobilis-Robinion pseudoacaciae Allegrezza, Montecchiari, Ottaviani, Pelliccia & Tesei 2019
Melisso altissimae-Robinietum pseudoacaciae Allegrezza, Montecchiari, Ottaviani, Pelliccia & Tesei 2019 2
Rubio peregrinae-Robinietum pseudoacaciae Allegrezza, Montecchiari, Ottaviani, Pelliccia & Tesei 2019 2
Ceratodonto purpurei-Polytrichetea piliferi Mohan 1978
Polytrichetalia piliferi von Hübschmann 1975
Campylopodion polytrichoidis Giacomini 1951
Campylopus introflexus community 108, 111
(*) In Poldini et al. (1998) the associations Panico-Polygonetum persicariae Pignatti 1953 and Oxalido-Chenopodietum polyspermi (Br.-Bl. 1921) Sissingh (1942) 1946 are considered syntaxonomic synonyms of Echinochloo-Setarietum pumilae Felföldy 1942 corr. Mucina 1993. The authors reached this result by elaborating the synthetic tables of only a part of the works published at national level with the name Panico-Polygonetum and Oxalido-Chenopodietum. Beside this, in Poldini et al. (1988) the numbers of tables and relevés taken into account for the analysis were not indicated. These authors did not also consider any subassociations and variants described. For these reasons, we prefer to report the names of the associations as they were indicated in the original works, without including them as synonyms in the name Echinochloo-Setarietum.
(**) This association was described for the north-Adriatic Italian coasts, published by Pignatti (1952-53) as " nom. prov.", therefore not validly, according to ICPN (Art. 3b, Weber et al., 2000). It cannot be attributed to Atriplicion littoralis sensu Nordhagen 1940, as already highlighted by Mucina et al. (2016, p. 137), according to whom it must be referred to ruderal communities of Atriplicion Passarge 1978 (Sisymbrietalia). After examining the original table in Pignatti (1952-53), we agree with the comments of Mucina et al. (2016). Anyway, in the Italian Vegetation Prodrome, the alliance Atriplicion Passarge 1978 is not reported, so we provisionally prefer to attribute this association to Hordeion leporini, the most similar alliance from the eco-coenological point of view present in the Italian Vegetation Prodrome.

Soon after the development and data analysis of this article, Pellizzari (2020) hypothesized a reinterpretation of Cyperus glomeratus, currently considered alien species in Italy, as a probable native. We are currently sticking to the consolidated position of Galasso et al. (2018), pending a reassessment of the chorology of this species

Appendix II.Download as CSV 

Specific bibliographical list with reference numbers for all the syntaxa quoted in the checklist of Appendix I.

N. References
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