Syntaxonomy of the Robinia pseudoacacia communities in the central peri-adriatic sector of the Italian peninsula

This study presents the results of a floristic vegetational study on Robinia pseudoacacia neoformation forests in the peri-Adriatic sector of central Italy. This has allowed the characterization of these coenoses at the ecological, biogeographic, syntaxonomic and landscape levels. These currently represent the southernmost syntaxa of the Robinietea class described for the Italian peninsula, and the first syntaxonomic contribution of this class in Europe for the Mediterranean biogeographical region. We propose here the new alliance Lauro nobilis–Robinion pseudoacaciae of the order Chelidonio–Robinietalia pseudoacaciae and class Robinietea, with two new associations: Melisso altissimae–Robinietum pseudoacaciae and Rubio peregrinae–Robinietum pseudoacaciae. The new alliance Lauro nobilis–Robinion pseudoacaciae (typus: Melisso altissimae–Robinietum pseudoacaciae) brings together neoformation forests and pre-forest dominated by R. pseudoacacia in those territories with a Mediterranean macroclimate of the peri-Adriatic sector of central Italy. The optimum is found for the alluvial plain and low-slope morphologies, on soils that are moist and rich in organic matter and in areas with anthropic disturbance. On the basis of comparisons with the European context, the alliance Bryonio–Robinion described for the temperate territories of northern Italy is here validated.