Sabina Burrascano

Sabina Burrascano
Sapienza University of Rome | la sapienza · Department of Environmental Biology

PhD Ecological Sciences

About

107
Publications
68,143
Reads
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2,784
Citations
Citations since 2017
62 Research Items
2108 Citations
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20172018201920202021202220230100200300400500600
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400500600
Introduction
I am interested in biodiversity with special reference to vascular plants, but I am also involved in multi-taxon research projects. My current research interests range from grasslands to forests composition and diversity in response to environmental and human factors.
Additional affiliations
March 2009 - present
Sapienza University of Rome
Position
  • Temporary Research associate
Description
  • My work implies writing of project proposals, partecipation to research projects, writing of scientific publications, mentoring Master and PhD students, teaching to Master students.

Publications

Publications (107)
Article
QuestionsWhat are the main drivers of variation in beta‐diversity for Bromus erectus semi‐natural dry grasslands of habitat 6210(*) at different scales? How should environmental variables and spatial patterns be taken into account to conserve the maximum possible beta‐diversity within the habitat? LocationCentral Italy. Methods We used 195 vegetati...
Article
We performed our study in the Dry Puna of the southern Peruvian Andes. Through a comparative approach we aimed to assess the effects of the two management systems, low grazing pressure by wild camelids vs. high grazing pressure by domestic livestock and periodic burning. Our general hypothesis was that the traditional high disturbance regime affect...
Article
Full-text available
Natura 2000 is a European network of protected sites that should enable natural habitats to be maintained or restored at a favorable conservation status. Progress toward this objective must be periodically reported by states members of the European Union. We investigated how forest management plans might provide data to support the reporting. The s...
Article
Full-text available
Here we provide the ‘Global Spectrum of Plant Form and Function Dataset’, containing species mean values for six vascular plant traits. Together, these traits –plant height, stem specific density, leaf area, leaf mass per area, leaf nitrogen content per dry mass, and diaspore (seed or spore) mass – define the primary axes of variation in plant form...
Article
Monitoring semi-natural grasslands is difficult and costly because they occur in highly dynamic and extremely complex habitat mosaics. We combined the use of a low-cost unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and Structure from Motion (SfM) photogrammetry to acquire high spatial resolution (~1.5 cm pixel) RGB imagery. After image classification through Objec...
Article
Many forest tree species have been moved outside their native range to provide goods and services elsewhere, but some of them have become invasive, causing negative impacts on biodiversity and human activities. The assessment and knowledge on the degree and scale to which forest ecosystems are invaded by non-native trees is of paramount importance...
Article
Full-text available
Aim: Understanding the variation in community composition and species abundances (i.e., β-diversity) is at the heart of community ecology. A common approach to examine β-diversity is to evaluate directional variation in community composition by measuring the decay in the similarity among pairs of communities along spatial or environmental distance...
Article
In Europe, the conservation of extensively grazed semi-natural grasslands is addressed by agricultural policies whose effectiveness is questioned. We studied sub-xerophilous Bromus erectus semi-natural grasslands to analyse the interactions among: i) agri-environmental payments, ii) grazing regimes, iii) environmental conditions, iv) habitat conser...
Article
Full-text available
Simulations of the land surface carbon cycle typically compress functional diversity into a small set of plant functional types (PFT), with parameters defined by the average value of measurements of functional traits. In most earth system models, all wild plant life is represented by between five and 14 PFTs and a typical grid cell (≈100 × 100 km)...
Article
Full-text available
Forests host most terrestrial biodiversity and their sustainable management is crucial to halt biodiversity loss. Although scientific evidence indicates that sustainable forest management (SFM) should be assessed by monitoring multi-taxon biodiversity, most current SFM criteria and indicators account only for trees or consider indirect biodiversity...
Article
Full-text available
Forests host most terrestrial biodiversity and their sustainable management is crucial to halt biodiversity loss. Although scientific evidence indicates that sustainable forest management (SFM) should be assessed by monitoring multi-taxon biodiversity, most current SFM criteria and indicators account only for trees or consider indirect biodiversity...
Conference Paper
Natural and anthropogenic disturbances are key factors in forest vegetation dynamics. Forest disturbance regimes are rapidly changing, with increasing magnitude and frequency of extreme events such as pathogen invasions , wildfires and windstorms, possibly as a consequence of climate change [1]. In October 2018, the "Vaia" storm hit the Eastern Ita...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Exploring the biotic homogenization and diversity resistance hypotheses by assessing the effect of non-native black locust canopy on understorey species turnover. Location Berlin, the Venetian metropolitan area, and Rome. Methods We modelled the zeta (ζ) expression of diversity to compare the understorey species turnover between the non-nativ...
Article
Full-text available
Primary forests, defined here as forests where the signs of human impacts, if any, are strongly blurred due to decades without forest management, are scarce in Europe and continue to disappear. Despite these losses, we know little about where these forests occur. Here, we present a comprehensive geodatabase and map of Europe’s known primary forests...
Article
Full-text available
Aims Understanding fine-grain diversity patterns across large spatial extents is fundamental for macroecological research and biodiversity conservation. Using the GrassPlot database, we provide benchmarks of fine-grain richness values of Palaearctic open habitats for vascular plants, bryophytes, lichens and complete vegetation (i.e., the sum of the...
Article
Full-text available
Questions: Which environmental factors influence fine-grain beta diversity of vegetation and do they vary among taxonomic groups? Location: Palaearctic biogeographic realm. Methods: We extracted 4,654 nested-plot series with at least four different grain sizes between 0.0001 m² and 1,024 m² from the GrassPlot database, covering a wide range of di...
Data
Conceptual figure summarizing our hypotheses how different drivers could influence fine-grain β-diversity via changing mean occupancy of species, based on the findings of our study and theoretical considerations. Fine-grain β-diversity (and likewise for larger grain sizes) is mathematically linked to mean occupancy, which can be decomposed into (i)...
Preprint
Full-text available
Understanding the variation in community composition and species abundances, i.e., β-diversity, is at the heart of community ecology. A common approach to examine β-diversity is to evaluate directional turnover in community composition by measuring the decay in the similarity among pairs of communities along spatial or environmental distances. We p...
Preprint
Full-text available
The monitoring of environmental policies in Europe has taken place since the 1980s and still remains a challenge for decision- and policy-making. For forests, it is concretized through the publication of a State Of Europe's Forests every five years, the last report just been released. However, the process lacks a clear analytical framework and appe...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The year 2020 is coming to an end, certainly the most unusual year of the recent decades. None of us could do science as planned, all of us were affected by severe restrictions in their lives and some from the GrassPlot members even personally suffered from a Covid-19 infection. Therefore, we are happy that, after all these bad news of the past 12...
Article
Full-text available
Primary forests are critical for forest biodiversity and provide key ecosystem services. In Europe, these forests are particularly scarce and it is unclear whether they are sufficiently protected. Here we aim to: (a) understand whether extant primary forests are representative of the range of naturally occurring forest types, (b) identify forest ty...
Article
Full-text available
Plant traits—the morphological, anatomical, physiological, biochemical and phenological characteristics of plants—determine how plants respond to environmental factors, affect other trophic levels, and influence ecosystem properties and their benefits and detriments to people. Plant trait data thus represent the basis for a vast area of research sp...
Article
Full-text available
GrassPlot is a collaborative vegetation-plot database organised by the Eurasian Dry Grassland Group (EDGG) and listed in the Global Index of Vegetation-Plot Databases (GIVD ID EU-00-003). Following a previous Long Database Report (Dengler et al. 2018, Phytocoenologia 48, 331–347), we provide here the first update on content and functionality of Gra...
Article
Full-text available
Palaearctic grasslands are diverse and dynamic ecosystems that are in the focus of ecology, conservation biology and agronomy. This special issue is dedicated to the biodiversity and conservation issues of Palaearctic grasslands and was initiated by the Eurasian Dry Grassland Group members attending the 14th Eurasian Dry Grassland Conference (EDGC)...
Article
What is the functional trait variation of European temperate grasslands and how does this reflect global patterns of plant form and function? Do habitat specialists show trait differentiation across habitat types? Europe. We compiled 18 regeneration and non‐regeneration traits for a continental species pool consisting of 645 species frequent in fiv...
Article
Italy is among the European countries with the greatest plant diversity due to both a great environmental heterogeneity and a long history of man-environment interactions. Trait-based approaches to ecological studies have developed greatly over recent decades worldwide, although several issues concerning the relationships between plant functional t...
Article
Policies to mitigate climate change and biodiversity loss often assume that protecting carbon-rich forests provides co-benefits in terms of biodiversity, due to the spatial congruence of carbon stocks and biodiversity at biogeographic scales. However, it remains unclear whether this holds at the scales relevant for management, with particularly lar...
Article
Full-text available
The 2018 Eurasian Grassland Conference "Cooperating for Grassland Conservation" (EGC 2018) took place from 4th to 8th June 2018 in the town of Sulmona, located in the centre of the Apennines in the Majella National Park. It was jointly organised by the University of Rome La Sapienza and the Majella National Park. This was the 10th conference of th...
Article
Aim Biodiversity monitoring and conservation are extremely complex, and surrogate taxa may represent proxies to test methods and solutions. However, cross‐taxon correlations in species diversity (i.e., cross‐taxon congruence) may vary widely with spatial scale. Our goal is to assess how cross‐taxon congruence varies with spatial scale in European t...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Primary forests have high conservation value but are rare in Europe due to historic land use. Yet many primary forest patches remain unmapped, and it is unclear to what extent they are effectively protected. Our aim was to (1) compile the most comprehensive European‐scale map of currently known primary forests, (2) analyse the spatial determina...
Conference Paper
How do structure and function in European old-growth forests compare to other temperate regions? Are old-growth characteristics shared universally or are there regional differences reflecting variation in growth, stand dynamics, and disturbance history? We tested the hypothesis that important ecological functions are provided universally by old-gro...
Article
The conservation of semi-natural habitats represents a primary challenge for European nature conservation due to their great species diversity and their vulnerability to ongoing massive land-use changes. As these changes rapidly transform and phase out semi-natural habitats, conservation measures should be prompt and specifically focused on a sound...
Article
Full-text available
The 2018 Eurasian Grassland Conference "Cooperating for Grassland Conservation" (EGC 2018) will take place from 4th to 8th June 2018 in Sulmona, a town in the heart of Italian Apennines. It will be the 15th annual conference of the EDGG, which aims to promote exchange and collaboration between those interested in all aspects of semi-natural and nat...
Article
Do vascular plant species richness and β-diversity differ between managed and structurally complex unmanaged stands? To what extent do species richness and β-diversity relate to forest structural attributes and heterogeneity?. Five National Parks in central and southern Italy. We sampled vascular plant species composition and forest structural attr...
Article
Beta-diversity has been repeatedly shown to decline with increasing elevation, but the causes of this pattern remain unclear, partly because they are confounded by coincident variation in alpha- and gamma-diversity. We used 8,795 forest vegetation-plot records from the Czech National Phytosociological Database to compare the observed patterns of be...
Article
Full-text available
Since adequate information on the distribution of biodiversity is hardly achievable, biodiversity indicators are necessary to support the management of ecosystems. These surrogates assume that either some habitat features, or the biodiversity patterns observed in a well-known taxon, can be used as a proxy of the diversity of one or more target taxa...
Article
Questions To what extent have semi-natural grassland plant species composition and functional traits changed during the past five decades? Which are the main directions of change? Which environmental, management and landscape factors have determined these changes? Location Central and southern Apennines of Italy. Methods In 2013–2014, we used a s...
Article
The extension of forest area is a globally accepted tool to offset CO2 emissions from deforestation and the combustion of fossil fuels. The common assumption is that in addition to the perceived climate benefits increasing forest area will also support biodiversity, thus making afforestation a “win-win scenario”. Based on the existing scientific ev...
Article
In recent decades the European populations of wild boar have grown substantially, as has the impact of this species, owing above all to its rooting activity. Our aim was to investigate the relationships between vascular plant understorey and wild boar rooting intensity. The questions we addressed are: does rooting intensity influence understorey sp...
Article
The woodlands dominated by white oak (Q. pubescens s. l.) in south and south-eastern Europe are a habitat of high conservation concern that is undergoing intense fragmentation as a result of human settlements and agriculture. Owing to this high degree of fragmentation and the taxonomic complexity of the subgenus Quercus, an in-depth analysis of whi...
Article
Assessing the contribution of forest soils to carbon (C) and nutrient dynamics is extremely complex due to the high spatial variability of soil properties, at fine to very broad scales. Improving our understanding of soil variability is necessary to scale up sample-based inventory data for the estimation of regional contribution of forest soils to...
Article
Full-text available
The identification of the drivers of diversity in understorey plant assemblages is a major challenge in forest ecology. However, it is not yet fully understood whether the same factors consistently affect different facets of species organization, such as species richness, composition and turnover. Here, we compare the influence of fine-scale enviro...