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The hay meadows of Catalonia

Goal: The project includes several studies: flora, phytosociology, soil science, agriculture, grassland management and mapping.

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Gabriel Mercadal i Corominas
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Les closes de l’Empordà són una de les explotacions agrícoles amb més interès cultural, agrícola i natural de Catalunya. Els seus orígens es remunten més enllà de l’alta edat mitjana, ara fa més d’un miler d’anys, i són el resultat de la dessecació artificial d’antics estanys i el posterior conreu de prats envoltats de regs i arbres de ribera. Des d’aleshores, els agricultors hi realitzen les mateixes activitats agrícoles que han permès que damunt d’aquest sòls salins i inundables, s’hi desenvolupin diverses comunitats vegetals riques amb nombroses espècies rares a Catalunya i a la península Ibèrica, que han esdevingut Hàbitat d’Interès Comunitari. En aquest document es descriu una metodologia que permet avaluar de forma senzilla la riquesa florística de les closes empordaneses, a partir de la presència de plantes indicadores de bon estat ecològic.
Gabriel Mercadal i Corominas
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RESUMEN: Presentamos sintéticamente una parte de los resultados fitogeográficos descritos en la tesis doctoral del autor. En este caso, caracterizamos y validamos algunos sintaxones de prados mesófilos de la alianza Brachypodio-Centaureion nemoralis (ord. Arrhenatheretalia elatioris, class. Molinio-Arrhenatheretea) del sudoeste de Europa. En total, estudiamos geobotánicamente ocho sintaxones a partir de tablas sintéticas y análisis factoriales de correspondencias publicados previamente en la tesis: una alianza (Brachypodio-Centaureion nemoralis), cinco asociaciones y dos subasociaciones (Campanulo subrhomboidalis-Cynosuretum cristati; Phleo nodosi-Cynosuretum cristati; Cypero longi-Cynosuretum cristati nova; Pediculari schizocalycis-Galietum veri stat. novus; Scorzonero humilis-Agrostidetum capillaris nova subass. typicum, subass. serapiadetosum linguae nova). RÉSUMÉ: Caractérisation géobotanique de certains syntaxons de prairies mésophiles (all. Brachypodio-Centaureion nemoralis) du sud-ouest de l'Europe. Nous présentons synthétiquement une partie des résultats phytogéographiques décrits dans la thèse de doctorat de l'auteur. Dans ce cas, nous caractérisons et validons quelques syntaxons de prairies mésophiles de l'alliance Brachypodio-Centaureion nemoralis (ord. Arrhenatheretalia elatioris, class. Molinio-Arrhenatheretea) du sud-ouest de l'Europe. Au total, nous avons étudié géobotaniquement huit syntaxons à partir de tableaux synthétiques et d'analyses factorielles de correspondance préalablement publiées dans la thèse : une alliance (Brachypodio-Centaureion nemoralis), cinq associations et deux sous-associations (Campanulo subrhomboidalis-Cynosuretum cristati; Phleo nodosi-Cynosuretum cristati; Cypero longi-Cynosuretum cristati nova; Pediculari schizocalycis-Galietum veri stat. novus; Scorzonero humilis-Agrostidetum capillaris nova subass. typicum, subass. serapiadetosum linguae nova). Mots-clés : Europe du Sud-Ouest, revue syntaxonomique, validation phytosociologique, Brachypodio-Centaureion nemoralis, Arrhenatheretalia elatioris.
Gabriel Mercadal i Corominas
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Aquesta memòria correspon al primer informe d’avaluació del projecte anomenat “Seguiment florístic dels espais gestionats per Fundació Natura com a prats de dall o de pastura a l’antic estany de Sils”, finançat per Fundació Natura mitjançant l’ajut econòmic concedit per la Fundación Biodiversidad. La finalitat d’aquest treball se centra en l’estudi de l’evolució de la vegetació de les àrees destinades recentment, per Fundació Natura, a prats de dall i a pastures, per tal d’avaluar l’efecte de les tècniques de gestió i modificar, si és precís, els tractaments agronòmics que s’hi apliquen.
Gabriel Mercadal i Corominas
added a research item
We present a summary of part of the phytogeographic results described in the author's PhD thesis. In this case, we characterise and validate several syntaxa of subsaline meadows in the Trifolion squamosi nom. corr. alliance (class. Juncetea maritimi) in Catalonia (incl. NE Spain and SE France) and in other regions of the Western Mediterranean (N Algeria, Languedoc and Provence). In total, we study six syntaxa in geobotanical terms, based on synthetic tables and factor analyses of correspondence published previously in the thesis: one alliance (Trifolion squamosi), two associations and three subassociations (Agropyro-Trifolietum subass. typicum, subass. festucetosum comb. nova, subass. brachypodietosum nova; Festucetum arundinaceae).
Gabriel Mercadal i Corominas
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## Geobotanical characterization of some syntaxa from mesophilic hay meadows (all. Arrhenatherion) in Catalonia (NE Spain & SE France) and Western Europe. ## We present a summary of part of the phytogeographic results described in the author’s PhD thesis. In this case, we characterise and validate several syntaxa from mesophilic hay meadows in the Arrhenatherion elatioris alliance (ord. Arrhenatheretalia elatioris) in Catalonia (incl. NE Spain and SE France) and the Western Mediterranean. In total, we study 19 syntaxa in geobotanical terms, based on synthetic tables and factor analyses of correspondence published previously in the thesis: 1 order (Arrhenatheretalia), 1 alliance (Arrhenatherion), 2 suballiances (Eu-Arrhenatherenion, Avenulo-Arrhenatherenion), 6 associations and 9 subassociations (Trifolio-Arrhenatheretum nova subass. typicum, subass. dianthetosum nova; Tragopogono-Lolietum subass. typicum, subass. ophioglossetosum stat. nov.; Malvo-Arrhenatheretum; Galio-Arrhenatheretum subass. typicum, subass. anthoxanthetosum; Gentiano-Trisetetum; Rhinantho-Trisetetum subass. typicum, subass. centaureetosum nigrae nova, subass. centaureetosum scabiosae nova; Conopodio-Vicietum nova).
Gabriel Mercadal i Corominas
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THE HAY MEADOWS IN THE MEDITERRANEAN REGION OF CATALONIA. GEOBOTANICAL CHARACTERISATION, AGRI-ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT, AND STUDY OF THE PHYTOSOCIOLOGICAL RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN HAY MEADOWS IN WESTERN EUROPE. VOLUME 3: VEGETATION & MEADOW MANAGEMENT. CHAPTER 4: VEGETATION: We studied the syntaxa of the study area using the Zürich-Montpellier method and then compared them with other hay meadows in Western Europe using synthetic tables or factorial correspondence analyses. For each syntaxon present in the study area, we have indicated the characteristic species, chorological and biological spectra, unique flora, syntaxonomy, phytosociological affinities, ecological parameters (agricultural uses and main soil factors), chorology, habitat, ecological location, potentiality, forage value, and botanical value. Syntaxonomic units and the study of phytosociological relationships We analysed 135 associations and 29 subassociations, which we assigned to 4 classes, 2 subclasses, 9 orders, 21 alliances, and 4 suballiances. However, we only geobotanically characterised new units, little-known units, and those present in the study area, i.e.: 2 classes, 4 orders, 10 alliances, 4 suballiances, 24 associations, and 29 subassociations. The new syntaxa are: two alliances (Oenantho pimpinelloidis-Gaudinion fragilis and Alopecuro bulbosi-Trifolion squamosi), one suballiance (Linonio-Plantaginenion crassifoliae), nine associations (Baldellio ranunculoidis-Oenanthetum fistulosae, Trifolio molinerii-Arrhenatheretum elatioris, Conopodio majoris-Vicietum incanae, Scorzonero humilis-Agrostidetum capillaris, Cypero longi-Cynosuretum, Oenantho fistulosae-Lotetum glabri, Orchido palustris-Festucetum arundinaceae, Limonio virgati-Plantaginetum crassifoliae and Trifolio squamosi-Plantaginetum crassifoliae) and 18 subassociations. We also promoted two subassociations to association level (Pediculari schizocalycis-Galietum veri and Geranio dissecti-Festucetum arundinaceae), reduced one association to subassociation level, and transferred six subassociations. Ultimately, we assigned the geobotanically characterised communities to two distinct classes: Molinio-Arrhenatheretea and Juncetea maritimi. Within the Molinio-Arrhenatheretea class, which includes reed beds, grasslands, and European non-saline wet meadows, we distinguished three Western European orders: Deschampsietalia cespitosae, Trifolio frafigeri-Hordeetalia secalini and Arrhenatheretalia elatioris. • To the order Deschampsietalia cespitosae, which includes European hygrophilic grasslands often mown or grazed, we assigned two alliances: Oenanthion fistulosae and Ranunculo ophioglossifolii-Oenanthion fistulosae. o Oenanthion fistulosae includes wet grasslands dominated by Oenanthe fistulosa from the Central European and Western European Sub-Atlantic regions. Within this alliance we distinguished four associations that we have not studied as they are found outside the study area. o Ranunculo-Oenanthenion includes wet grasslands dominated by Oenanthe fistulosa from the Atlantic littoral region and the Western Mediterranean. To this alliance we assigned the Baldellio-Oenanthetum association, within which we distinguished three subassociations: juncetosum acutiflori, caricetosum cuprinae and alopecuretosum pratensis. • To the order Trifolio-Hordeetalia, which encompasses the mesohygrophilic hay meadows of Southern Europe, we assigned five alliances, two of which are new: Oenantho pimpinelloidis-Gaudinion fragilis and Alopecuro bulbosi-Trifolion squamosi. o To Oenantho-Gaudinion, which includes the mesohygrophilic hay meadows of Western Europe, we assigned four associations, two of which are present in the study area: Gaudinio-Arrhenatheretum and Geranio-Festucetum. Gaudinio-Arrhenatheretum involves the basophilic and mesohygrophilic hay meadows of the Western Mediterranean coastline and northeastern Catalonia. Within this association we distinguished four subassociations: narcissetosum, festucetosum rubrae, lotetosum preslii and lolietosum perennis. In contrast, Geranio-Festucetum includes the neutrophilic or acidophilic hay meadows of the Catalan Mediterranean region, from the right bank of the Tec (Rosselló) to the Montnegre Massif (Maresme). Within this association we distinguished four subassociations: typicum, caricetosum distantis, arrhenatheretosum elatioris and gratioletosum officinalis. o To Alopecuro-Trifolion squamosi, which includes backdune brackish meadows, temporarily flooded and regularly mown or grazed, in the French thermo-Atlantic region, we assigned four associations that we have not studied as they are found outside the study area. • To the Arrhenatheretalia elatioris order, which encompasses the Central European grasslands and mesophilic hay meadows, we assigned three lowland and intermediate mountain hay meadow alliances: Arrhenatherion elatioris, Brachypodio-Centaureion and Salvio-Dactylidion. o To Arrhenatherion elatioris, which includes the mesophilic hay meadows typical of Central Europe, we distinguished two suballiances: Colchico autumnalis-Arrhenatherenion elatioris and Aveno pubescentis-Arrhenatherenion elatioris. The suballiance Colchico-Arrhenatherion encompasses typical Central European grasslands and includes several associations, such as Arrhenatheretum elatioris, the alliance type, and Trifolio molinerii-Arrhenatheretum elatioris, a new association of the submontane and montane ecosystems of the Augal Massif (Cévennes). In contrast, the suballiance Aveno-Arrhenatherenion encompasses the mesophilic hay meadows of the northern half of the Iberian Peninsula. To this syntaxon we assigned seven associations: Tragopogono-Lolietum multiflori, Malvo-Arrhenatheretum bulbosi, Galio-Arrhenatheretum bulbosi, Odontito-Trifolietum pratensis, Gentiano-Trisetetum flavescentis, Rhinantho-Trisetetum flavescentis, and Conopodio-Vicietum incanae. Of these, only the last three are present in the study area. In Odontito-Trifolietum, which includes the mesophilic submontane hay meadows of the Olositanic territory and surroundings (eastern Pyrenees), we distinguished three subassociations: trifolietosum pratensis, rhinanthetosum alectorolophi and geranietosum dissecti. In Rhinantho-Trisetetum, which includes the mesophilic montane hay meadows of the Pyrenees dominated by Rhinanthus pumilus, we distinguished three subassociations: typicum, centaureetosum nigrae and centaureetosum scabiosae. Finally, Conopodio-Vicietum encompasses the mesophilic montane hay meadows of the Montseny and Guilleries massifs, and corresponds to a vicariant association of western Trifolio-Arrhenatheretum. o To Brachypodio-Centaureion, which includes the mesophilic grasslands and hay meadows of southeastern Europe, most of which have been assigned to the Cynosurion cristati alliance, we assigned 14 associations: Agrostio-Cynosuretum, Caro-Cynosuretum, Lino-Cynosuretum, Merendero-Cynosuretum, Campanulo-Cynosuretum, Agrostio-Arrhenatheretum bulbosi, Anthemido-Cynosuretum, Festuco-Cynosuretum, Armerio-Arrhenatheretum, Phleo-Cynosuretum, Scorzonero-Agrostidetum capillaris, Orchido-Serapiadetum linguae, Pediculari-Galietum veri, and Cypero-Cynosuretum. The Scorzonero-Agrostidetum association includes the cool and acidophilic hay meadows of the lower Auvergne, Pediculari-Galietum involves the hay meadows of the eastern sector of the Iberian Central System, and Cypero-Cynosuretum encompasses the wet grasslands of Cynosurus cristatus in Cap de Creus (Alt Empordà). o To the Salvio-Dactylidion alliance, from the central and northern regions of the Italian Peninsula, we assigned seven associations that we have not studied as they are found outside the study area: Fitocenon basale (Cynosurion) to Lolium multiflorum, Salvio-Dactyldetum glomeratae, Centaureo carniolicae-Arrehenatheretum, Poo sylvicolae-Lolietum multiflori, Pastinaco urentis-Arrhenatheretum, Festuco circummediterraneae-Arrhenatheretum and Ranunculo neapolitani-Arrhenatheretum. To the Juncetea maritimi class that includes reed beds and wet salt meadows in Europe, in the Western Mediterranean we only assigned a single order: Juncetalia maritimi. • Within the order Juncetalia, we distinguished three alliances: Juncion maritimi, Plantaginion crassifoliae and Trifolion maritimi. o To Juncion maritimi, which includes halophilic, mesohygrophilic and hygrophilic Mediterranean reed beds, we assigned five associations: Caricetum divisae, Junco-Triglochinetum maritimi, Spartino-Juncetum maritimi, Junco-Iridetum spuria and Oenantho-Lotetum glabri. Oenantho-Lotetum corresponds to halohygrophilic grasslands dominated by Oenanthe fistulosa and various halophytes. o In Plantaginion crassifoliae, which includes Mediterranean subhalophilic meadows, from mesophilic to mesohygrophilic, dominated by Plantago crassifolia, we distinguished two suballiances: Plantaginenion crassifoliae and Limonio virgati-Plantaginenion crassifoliae. The suballiance Plantaginenion crassifoliae includes the subhalophilic, mesohygrophilic and parapeaty meadows. We assigned four associations to this suballiance: Schoeno nigricantis-Plantaginetum crassifoliae, Centaureo dracunculifoliae-Dorycnietum gracilis, Orchido palustris-Centaureetum dracunculifoliae, and Orchido palustris-Festucetum arundinaceae. Schoeno-Plantaginetum includes the mesohygrophilic salt meadows dominated by Plantago crassifolia and Schoenus nigricans, and Orchido-Festucetum includes the hygrophilic and lightly saline meadows dominated by Festuca arundinacea and diverse hygrohalophytes, such as Orchis palustris and Centaurea dracunculifolia. In contrast, the Limonio-Plantaginenion suballiance includes the subhalophytic mesoxerophilic meadows dominated by Plantago crassifolia, to which we assigned two associations: Limonio virgati-Plantaginetum crassifoliae and Trifolio squamosi-Plantaginetum crassifoliae. Limonio-Plantaginetum includes subhalophytic mesoxerophilic meadows dominated by Plantago crassifolia and characterised by diverse species from the genus Limonium. Within this association we distinguished four subassociations: parapholietosum filiformis, inuletoseum crithmoides, helichrysetosum stoechadis and caricetosum divisae. In contrast, the Trifolio-Plantaginetum association includes halohygrophilic meadows dominated by Plantago crassifolia from the metamorphic coastal strip in Cap de Creus (Alt Empordà). o To Trifolion maritimi, which includes the regularly mown subhalophilic meadows dominated by diverse Mediterranean legumes, we assigned two associations: Agropyro-Trifolietum maritimi and Festucetum arundinaceae. Agropyro-Trifolietum includes regularly mown subhalophilic mesohygrophilic meadows that are dominated by various legumes from the western European Mediterranean. Within this association we distinguished three subassociations: typicum, festucetosum arundinaceae and brachypodietosum phoenicoidis. Festucetum arundinaceae is a subhalophilic association that has been heavily affected by humans and is typical of the Algerian coast. Natural habitats Among the plant communities characterised in the study area we distinguished ten CORINE habitats (15.521prov., 15.522prov., 15.53, 15.5310prov., 15.59prov., 37.29+, 38.112, 38.23, 38.24+, 53.14A), six EUNIS (A2.523, A2.532, E2.112, E2.23, E2.26.ES, C3.24A), two HCI (1410, 6510), and six ULCHC (15a, 15b, 37eprov., 38a, 38b, 38c). We modified two CORINE habitats [15.52 Jonqueres baixes amb Juncus gerardi, Carex divisa, Hordeum marinum..., i prats litorals rics en espècies anuals i lleguminoses, Trifolium squamosum, Melilotus siculus, M. segetalis..., de sòls salabrosos humitsprov.; 38.24+ Prats dalladors mesohigròfils, generalment amb Gaudinia fragilis, de la terra baixa plujosaprov.] and we created four new ones [15.521prov. Jonqueres baixes amb Juncus gerardi, Carex divisa, Hordeum marinum... de sòls salabrosos humits; 15.522prov. Prats litorals rics en espècies anuals i lleguminoses, Trifolium squamosum, Tetragonolobus maritimus, Melilotus siculus, M. segetalis... de sòls salabrosos humits; 15.5310prov. Prats de plantatge crassifoli (Plantago crassifoliae) amb trèvol marítim (Trifolium squamosum), trèvol de llapassa (T. lappaceum) i peu de pardal marí (Lotus corniculatus subsp. corniculatus var. crassifolius), d’aiguamolls salabrosos damunt substrat silici, de la península de Cap de Creus; 15.59prov. Prats subhalòfils amb plantatge marí (Plantago crassifolia) i higrohalòfits (Sonchus maritimus, Dorycnium pentaphyllum subsp. gracile, Linum maritimum, Centaurea dracunculifolia, Orchis palustris...), de sòls generalment argilosos, paratorbosos i humits]. We also modified the description of one HIC unit [6510 Prats de dall mesohigròfils de la terra baixa (Oenantho-Gaudinion) i mesòfils de la muntanya mitjana (Arrhenatherion)prov.] and proposed a new ULCHC [37eprov. Herbassars higròfils de fel•landri fistulós (Oenanthe fistulosa) de la terra baixa humida del nord-est de Catalunya]. Forage quality We evaluated the forage quality of the main associations using the traditional Pv (pastoral value) index, applying our own values for the species index (Si). The meadows with a medium to high forage value are mesophilic and mesohygrophilic, rich in legumes and grasses from the following alliances: Arrhenatherion, Oenantho-Gaudinion and Trifolion maritimi (mean Pv = 57.4-46.6). On the other hand, the meadows with a low or very low agricultural value are hygrophilic grasslands from the alliances: Juncion maritimi, Plantaginion crassifoliae and Ranunculo-Oenanthion (mean Pv = 27.5-15.3). The botanical value using the new "Bv" index We have developed an index of botanical value (Bv) for the hay meadows in Catalonia. This new index takes into account the floristic value (Fv) and the community value (Cv) according to the following formula: Bv = (Fv+Cv)/2. The floristic value takes into account the plant index (Pi) of each taxon in the inventory and the floral richness (Fr) of the inventory. The formula is: Fv = (∑ Pii/Fr) × 1.666. The community value is obtained from the average between the diversity index (Di), the implantation index in the Catalan Countries (Ii) and the territorial extent index in the Catalan Countries (Ei). The diversity index was proposed by Daget & Poisonet (1971), and the other two are modifications of those proposed by Carreras & Ferré (2013). The formula is: Cv = (Di + Ii + Ei)/3) × 1.666. All the communities studied have a high botanical value, but this varies according to the presence of rare taxa and the distribution of the association. Thus, associations with the highest botanical values are the hygrohalophilic grasslands (Oenantho-Lotetum, Schoeno-Plantaginetum and Orchido-Festucetum). In an intermediate position are the more or less common meadows and grasslands that are home to rare plants (Gaudinio-Arrhenatheretum and Baldellio-Oenanthetum), and meadows with few rare plants but a very reduced distribution (Conopodio-Vicietum). Finally, the least-valued associations, despite having a fairly high valuation, are the most widely distributed communities in Catalonia (Agropyro-Trifolietum and Geranio-Festucetum) and those with the fewest unique taxa (Odontito-Trifolietum). CHAPTER 5: MEADOW MANAGEMENT: In the last chapter we indicate the main agricultural and livestock techniques for maintaining, improving, and restoring the hay meadows of the lowlands and intermediate mountains in northeastern Catalonia. In addition, we suggest the main steps to follow to transform various plant communities into hay meadows. Well-managed hay meadows can be a multisector resource, not simply agronomic or biological, but also for teaching, tourism, and leisure, as they are in other European regions. The administration must acknowledge that preserving these semi-cultural communities, the fruit of a thousand years of good human management of the natural environment, is as important as guaranteeing the conservation of our literary or archaeological heritage; since its maintenance represents an essential tool for conserving Catalonia’s plant diversity. The administration should also encourage landowners to conserve their meadows, by correctly exploiting them, and recover as many abandoned or broken up meadows as possible. To achieve this objective, it is essential to combine forage yield and grassland biodiversity. This task can be carried out more easily on a regional scale (county, natural park, etc.), by means of a management plan that diversifies agricultural and livestock operations, as well as their intensity, according to the needs of each meadow and of each owner. However, most grasslands can also be treated appropriately to ensure the preservation of their floristic values and a satisfactory agricultural yield. Finally, we insist that the grasslands still existing today must not be harmed in any way, and that they must be mown each year.
Gabriel Mercadal i Corominas
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Presentamos sintéticamente una parte de los resultados fitogeográficos descritos en la tesis doctoral del autor. En este caso, caracterizamos y validamos algunos sintaxones de prados salobres de las alianzas Juncion maritimi y Plantaginion crassifoliae (class. Juncetea maritimi) del nordeste de Cataluña (incl. NE de España y SE de Francia) y del Mediterráneo occidental. En total, estudiamos geobotánicamente 15 sintaxones a partir de tablas sintéticas y análisis factoriales de correspondencias publicados previamente en la tesis: 1 clase (Juncetea maritimi), 1 orden (Juncetalia maritimi), 2 alianzas (Juncion maritimi; Plantaginion crassifoliae), 2 subalianzas (Eu-Plantaginenion crassifoliae; Limonio virgati-Plantaginenion crassifoliae nova), 5 asociaciones y 4 subasociaciones (Oenantho fistulosae-Lotetum glabri nova; Schoeno nigricantis-Plantaginetum crassifoliae; Orchido palustris-Festucetum arundinaceae nova; Limonio virgati-Plantaginetum crassifoliae nova subass. typicum, subass. inuletosum mediterraneae nova, subass. helichrysetosum stoechadis nova, subass. caricetosum divisae nova; Trifolio squamosi-Plantaginetum crassifoliae nova).
Gabriel Mercadal i Corominas
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Geobotanical characterization and phytosociological validation of some syntaxa from hygrophilous (ord. Deschampsietalia cespi-tosae) and mesohygrophilous (ord. Trifolio-Hordeetalia) hay meadows in Catalonia and Western Europe. A summary of part of the phytogeographic results described in the author's PhD thesis is presented here. Several syntaxa from hy-grophilous (ord. Deschampsietalia cespitosae) and mesohygrophilous (ord. Trifolio-Hordeetalia) hay meadows of northeastern Catalonia (incl. NE of Spain and SE of France) and western Europe, are characterized and validated. In total 22 syntaxa have been studied, based on synthetic tables and correspondence factor analyses: 1 class (Molino-Arrhenatheretea), 2 orders (Deschampsietalia cespitosae, Trifolio-Hordeetalia), 4 alliances (Oenanthion fistulosae; Ranunculo-Oenanthion; Oenantho Gaudinion all. nova; Alopecuro-Trifolion all. nova), 4 associations and 11 subassociations (Baldellio-Oenanthetum subass. nova). Among the new phytosociological contributions, it is worth noting the description of two new alliances and the division of the mesohygrophilous hay meadows of the Catalan-Occitan Medi-terranean traditionally assigned to the Gaudinio-Arrhenatheretum (all. Arrhenatherion or Brachypodio-Centaureion according to the author , ord. Arrhenatheretalia) in two associations (Gaudinio-Arrhenatheretum and Geranio-Festucetum), as well as their assignment to the Oenantho-Gaudinion alliance and to the Trifolio-Hordeetalia order (class. Molinio-Arrhenatheretea).
Gabriel Mercadal i Corominas
added a research item
Geobotany characterization of mesophilic meadows of the association Odontito serotini‑Trifolietum pratensis O. Bolòs et Masalles 1983 (all. Arrhenatherion elatioris Koch 1926) from the Eastern Pyrenees of Catalonia We characterize floristically, geographically, ecologically and syntaxonomically mesophile meadows of the Pyrenean association Odontito serotini‑Trifolietum pratensis O. Bolòs et Masalles 1983 (suball. Aveno‑Arrhenatherenion, all. Arrhenatherion elatioris). These meadows are mainly composed of high‑value forage hemicryptophytes (Festuca arundinacea subsp. a., Arrhenatherum elatius subsp. e., Trifolium pratense, T. repens, Dactylis glomerata subsp. g., Plantago lanceolata, Lotus corniculatus subsp. c., Potentilla reptans...) and are floristically differentiated for a set of diagnostic species (Festuca arundinacea subsp. a., Linum usitatissimum subsp. angustifolium, Erigeron annuus, Agrimonia eupatoria, Orobanche minor, Gaudinia fragilis and Origanum vulgare) that give them a different composition from the rest of the Catalan associations of the Arrhenatherion alliance (Conopodio‑Vicietum, Gentiano‑Trisetetum, Rhinantho‑Trisetetum and Tragopogono‑Lolietum). Within the association, we distinguish 3 ecogeographic sub‑associations based on the nature of the terrain and the Pyrenean slope where they are developed: subass. trifolietosum pratensis O. Bolòs et Masalles 1983 [= typicum], subass. geranietosum dissecti subass. nova hoc loco and subass. rhinanthetosum alectorolophi subass. nova hoc loco. The association is distributed for the Central European biogeographical region of the Eastern Pyrenees of Catalonia (olositanic territory and Prepyrenees and eastern Pyrenees), for the Pyrenean sub‑Mediterranean biogeographic province and for the Atlantic of the valleys of Olot, in the eastern Prepyrenees Mediterranean climate. Altitude is between(270)340‑800(1,000) m. In reference to potentiality, the association belongs, fundamentally, to the pedunculated’s oak forests dominion (Isopyro‑Quercetum roboris) and to the downy’s oak forests (Buxo‑Quercetum pubescentis and Pteridio‑Quercetum pubescentis).
Gabriel Mercadal i Corominas
added a research item
Adaptar el mètode d’avaluació agroambiental de prats centreeuropeus d’Oppermann a les closes mediterrànies de l’Empordà (NE de Catalunya).
Gabriel Mercadal i Corominas
added a research item
En aquesta memòria s’ha estudiat la zona humida coneguda popularment com a “prats de Sant Sebastià”, una àrea pradenca situada al nord-est de Catalunya, enmig de la plana selvatana, al municipi de Caldes de Malavella, al costat de la urbanització Llac del Cigne. Es tracta d’un espai natural amb un paisatge molt divers, constituït per rouredes, boscos de ribera i de plana al•luvial, prats de dall, gramenets halòfils, herbassars humits d’inundació temporània, conreus farratgers i plantacions d’arbres de ribera. Així doncs, és un espai equilibrat ecològicament i ric en diferents hàbitats naturals que permeten que s’hi refugien diverses espècies animals i vegetals. Tanmateix, el seus valors naturals principals són els prats dalladors de la terra baixa mediterrània, un hàbitat humit d’interès natural; i la presència de les anomenades “salenques”, un cas únic a les comarques gironines, ja que es tracta de petits rodals de terra concentrats de sals i recoberts d’halòfits, els quals deuen estan relacionats amb la dinàmica hidrotermal de la vila de Caldes de Malavella. A Catalunya, els prats de dall no són escassos, malgrat que amb els canvis econòmics i culturals dels darrers 50 anys hagin perdut molta superfície. Així, per exemple, a la muntanya mitjana encara hi són prou comuns i diversos, però a la terra baixa, constitueixen una associació concreta (ass. Gaudinio-Arrhenatheretum) que es troba, avui dia, en clara recessió. Malauradament, tot i ser un hàbitat molt divers associat a zones humides i a l’activitat agrícola tradicional des de segles ençà, no està catalogat, oficialment, com un hàbitat en perill i, per tant, no disposa de cap protecció específica. La memòria de recerca que presentem ha consistit en realitzar diferents estudis climàtics, històrics, hidrogeològics, edàfics, florístics, ecològics, fitosociològics i estadístics per interpretar ecològicament aquest espai natural (així com d’altres de propers i similars ambientalment) i donar a conèixer els seus valors geobotànics i hidrogeològics. Per aquest motiu, per una banda, s’ha efectuat una recerca florística que ha permès citar 1 nou tàxon per a la flora de Catalunya, 7 per a la de la plana de la Selva, així com 9 halòfits i 17 hidròfits. A més a més, s’ha elaborat una llista d’espècies amenaçades a la regió mediterrània catalana i que tenen com ha hàbitat principal els prats de dall litorals. També s’ha caracteritzat geobotànicament la vegetació de la zona d’estudi, fet que ha permès identificar 38 agrupaments vegetals (entre associacions, subassociacions, variants i formacions vegetals), i s’han realitzat diverses anàlisis edàfiques, sobretot als sòls dels prats de dall i de les diferents formacions halòfiles. D’altra banda, s’ha proposat un model sobre l’origen i la dinàmica dels sòls salins de la zona d’estudi, segons el qual les aigües de pluja que s’infiltren a la rodalia de Caldes de Malavella per petites fractures del sòcol paleozoic descendeixen fins una àrea profunda on s’escalfen i canvien de composició química, per, aleshores, pujar carregades de sals minerals per una zona de falla fins al subsòl de l’àrea d’estudi. On cop allí, les aigües termals no poden arribar a sorgir a la superfície, ja que es topen amb una capa d’argiles impermeables, tanmateix, però, les sals poden pujar per capil•laritat fins a la superfície del sòl on s’acumulen amb menor o major mesura segons la proximitat a la zona de falla i la permeabilitat dels darrers nivells sedimentaris del Quaternari recent. Finalment, s’han proposat diverses mesures per a la millora ambiental dels prats de Sant Sebastià i, per extensió, de tots els prats dalladors de la Selva i del nord-est de Catalunya. En definitiva, s’ha realitzat una memòria de recerca que prepondera, per un banda, l’estudi dels prats de dall de la regió mediterrània, seguint, d’aquesta manera, la nova línia de recerca iniciada per la Unitat de Biologia Vegetal de la Universitat de Girona i, per l’altra, els estudis edàfics, per tal d’interpretar l’origen i la dinàmica de les salenques, uns sòls salins al bell mig de la plana de la Selva.
Gabriel Mercadal i Corominas
added a research item
Characterization of ash groves in the floodable alluvial of the NE Catalonia (Carici remotae-Fraxinetum oxycarpae Pedrotti 1970 corr. Pedrotti 1992) We typify in floristic, ecologic and syntaxonomic terms ash groves in the floodable alluvial plain of NE part of Iberian Peninsula (in the Gironès, Maresme, La Selva and Vallès Oriental districts of Catalonia). These are woods normally dominated by Fraxinus angustifolia subsp. oxycarpa, although in some cases they may be mixed woods of ash and Quercus robur. The characteristic species are: Fraxinus angustifolia subsp. oxycarpa, F. angustifolia subsp. angustifolia, Quercus robur subsp. robur, Carex remota, Oenanthe pimpinelloides, Carex muricata subsp. divulsa, Ranunculus acris subsp. despectus and Rumex conglomeratus. They are phreatophylous woodland communities which are often disconnected from the courses of rivers, and develop on top of alluvial or marshy sediment of a deep, organic, holocenic nature and fine texture that remain flooded from autumn to spring. This type of ash grove is situated ecologically between Lamio-Alnetum and Carici-Quercetum canariensis, and is a climax community. After de comparation with similar woods of the NE mediterranian we include in syntaxonomic terms the several associations described in two aliances, Populion albae and Alnion incanae. In the last one we assigned the Carici-Fraxinetum oxycarpae, association describe in Italy (Pedrotti, 1970, 1992). In Catalonia we can distinguish three new sub-associations: caricetosum cuprinae, quercetosum pubescentis and quercetosum roboris.
Gabriel Mercadal i Corominas
added a research item
Taraxacum sect. Palustria (Compositae) in the Iberian Peninsula. After detecting new records for Taraxacum sect. Palustria (Compositae), a first taxonomical revision of this section is provided for the Iberian Peninsula. Four taxa, T. aginnense, T. ciliare, T. litophyllum and T. raii, are recognized, of which T. aginnense and T. raii are new for the Iberian flora. From each one of them, its morphological description, geographical, ecological and phenological data, and conservation status are presented. In addition, an identification key, as well as several images showing the main morphological characters are given. This work also includes comments on T. mediterraneum group (T. sect. Erythrocarpa) because its morphological similitude and ecological affinities with Iberian plants of T. sect. Palustria.
Gabriel Mercadal i Corominas
added a research item
THE HAY MEADOWS IN THE MEDITERRANEAN REGION OF CATALONIA. GEOBOTANICAL CHARACTERISATION, AGRI-ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT, AND STUDY OF THE PHYTOSOCIOLOGICAL RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN HAY MEADOWS IN WESTERN EUROPE. VOLUME 2: FLORA. In the third chapter we present the floral catalogue of the hay meadows in the Catalan Mediterranean region and adjacent areas; this involves 809 taxa. The reference work used here was the “Flora Manual dels Països Catalans” (Guide to the Flora of the Catalan Countries). However, in several cases we used other more up-to-date works from other regions of Western Europe, including “Flora iberica”, “Flora gallica”, and “Flora d’Italia”. For each taxon we indicate its distribution, frequency, ecology and phytosociology in the study area, as well as its forage and floristic values. Additionally, in specific cases, we also comment on nomenclatural or taxonomic aspects that, where necessary, we illustrate with images and dichotomous keys. Floral richness Of the 809 taxa catalogued, 10 (1.2%) are exclusively cultivated for agricultural purposes, 372 (46.0%) are considered accidental in the meadow communities studied, and 49 (6.1%) were not found again. We also excluded two taxa (Bromus hordeaceus subsp. molliformis and Elymus hispidus), as we consider these to be absent in the study area. The floral richness of the physiographic areas varies considerably and correlates with the surface area inventoried, the sampling intensity, and the diversity of meadow habitats. In decreasing order of richness are: the Alt Empordà Plain (370 taxa, 48.7% of the total); the Rosselló Plain (340; 44.7%); the La Selva Plain (332; 43.7%); the Montseny Massif (310; 40.8%); the Albera Massif (292; 38.4%); Alt Vallespir (218; 28.7%); the Olositanic territory (215; 28.3%); the Les Salines Massif (191, 25.1%); the Queragut-Millars Massif (169; 22.2%); Alta Garrotxa (166; 21.8%); the lower course of the Tordera (130, 17.1%); the Baix Empordà Plain (122; 16.1%); Conflent (105; 13.8%); the Corredor-Montnegre massifs (42; 5.5%); and the Mogent Valley (31; 4.1%). The low values found in the latter 5 areas are a consequence of a low sampling intensity (Conflent) and a lack of actively mown hay meadows. Thematic Spectra Of the 809 taxa counted, only seven (0.9%) were pteridophytes while the rest were angiosperms, 569 (70.3%) of which were dicotyledons and 233 (28.8%) monocotyledons. These taxa pertain to 71 families and 315 different genera. The taxonomic spectrum reflects the meadow character of the associations studied, since the best-represented families are grasses (118 taxa; 14.6%), asters (114; 14.1%) and legumes (91; 11.2%); while the best-represented genera are Trifolium (27; 3.3%), Carex (23; 2.8%), Vicia (19; 2.3%), Juncus (16, 2.0%), Bromus (15; 1.9%), and Centaurea (14; 1.7%). The general chorological spectrum of the study area is fairly evenly distributed between 3 main groups of elements: pluriregional (37.0%); Euro-Siberian (34.9%); and Mediterranean (21.9%). The others are relatively insignificant. However, this spectrum varies greatly depending on the physiographic areas under study, which can be divided into three different groups: • The Mediterranean basal plains closest to the sea (the Mogent Valley; the Empordà, Rosselló, and La Selva plains; and the lower course of the Tordera). 0-100 m in altitude, with high percentages of pluriregional (49-71%) and Mediterranean (13-29%) taxa. • The low Mediterranean massifs (the Albera Range; the Corredor-Montnegre massifs; and the Queragut-Millars Massif). 100-500 m in altitude, with high percentages of pluriregional (44-49%) and Euro-Siberian (31-38%) taxa. • The massifs located partially or totally in the Central European region (Montseny, the Guilleries, and the Pyrenees Range). (100)400-1,200 m in altitude, and clearly dominated by the Euro-Siberian element (43-57%) with respect to pluriregional (33-40%) and Mediterranean (5-12%) taxa. The general biological spectrum of the study area is clearly dominated by hemicryptophytes (48.1%), which again reflects the meadow physiognomy of the associations studied. In order of frequency, the other groups are: therophytes (30.7%), geophytes (12.9%), chamaephytes (4.7%), hydrophytes (2.3%) and phanerophytes (1.4%). However, the percentage of each spectrum varies considerably according to the physiographic area. In this case, we can divide the studied regions into two main groups: • The basal plains and low massifs of the Mediterranean region (the Mogent Valley, coastal and pre-littoral plains, the Albera Range, and the Queragut-Millars Massif). 0 to 500 m in altitude, dominated by hemicryptophytes (45-55%), but also involving a high percentage of therophytes (26-52%). These are areas dominated by communities from the Trifolio-Hordeetalia, Juncetalia maritimi and Deschampsietalia cespitosae orders. • The cool mountainous areas found in the Central European region (the Pre-littoral Range and the Pyrenees). (100)300-1200 m in altitude, clearly dominated by hemicryptophytes (55-74%) and where therophytes are much less significant (14-24%). These regions are dominated by communities of the order Arrhenatheretalia elatioris. Floristic value Mediterranean hay meadows represent some of the most biologically interesting habitats in Catalonia, as they are home to several taxa unique to this part of the Mediterranean region. If we consider the plant index (Pi, ranging from 1-7) that we have proposed for each taxon, the study area has an average value (xPi) of 3.8. However, this value oscillates markedly according to the physiographic area studied. The regions with the greatest number of rare plants in relation to the total are the Queragut-Millars Massif (xPi = 4.0), the Albera Range (xPi = 3.8), the Rosselló Plain (xPi = 3.7), Alt Vallespir (xPi= 3.5), and the La Selva and Alt Empordà plains (xPi= 3.5). This is due to the presence of rare habitats, such as humid meadows rich in organic matter, which are home to several unique hygrophytes with a Pi of > 6 (Bellevalia romana, Bromus racemosus, Cardamine parviflora, Centaurea dracunculifolia, Gratiola officinalis, Hordeum secalinum, Jucus striatus, J. heterophyllus, Kickxia commutata, Melitous siculus, Orchis palustris, Silaum silaus, Taraxacum aginnense, T. ciliare, Triglochin bulbosum subsp. barrelieri, and Teucrium scordium, etc.), and, also, in the case of Alt Vallespir, Albera and Queragut-Millars, Central-European plants (Carum verticillatum, Colchicum autumnale, Crepis biennis, Rhinanthus alectorolophus, and Scorzonera humilis, etc.), which are rare in the eastern Catalan Pyrenees. In contrast, in the other regions, the Mogent Valley (xPi = 3.0), the Corredor-Montnegre massifs (xPi = 3.2), Montseny (xPi = 3.3), the Guilleries (xPi = 3.3), the Olositanic territory (xPi = 3.4), Alta Garrotxa (xPi = 3.4) and Conflent (xPi = 3.4), the average plant index value is lower, as these areas have more mesophilic meadows, where fewer rare plants occur. Unique flora Based on the plant index (Pi), we detected 70 taxa with a Pi > 6 (cf. taxa in the previous section), of which nine are considered accidental in the communities in the study area. We should also highlight 56 further taxa that, although not extremely rare in the Catalan Countries, are quite unusual in northeastern Catalonia: Agrostis canina, Alopecurus aequalis, A. bulbosus, Baldellia ranunculoides, Carex umbrosa, Narcissus poeticus, Oenanthe lachenalii, Rorippa aspera subsp. aspera, R. aspera subsp. praeterita, and Thalictrum flavum, among other species. On the other hand, we also collected seven species that are introduced or cultivated in the study area (Achillea cf. roseoalba, Alopecurus pratensis subsp. arundinaceus, Iris orientalis, Trifolium alexandrinum, Trifolium resupinatum subsp. suaveolens, Trifolium vesiculosum and Vicia villosa subsp. villosa), which, today, are rare in Catalonia. Finally, on the plains of the study area, two endemic taxa were observed: Dianthus seguieri subsp. requienii and Centaurea ×decipiens nothosubsp. emporitana. New citations for Catalonia and for the study area We have detected 17 new taxa (or very little cited) for the flora of Catalonia (Bromus hordeaceus subsp. longipedicellatus, B. hordeaceus subsp. cf. ×pseudothominei, Centaurea ×decipiens subsp. ruscinonensis var. cf. duboisii, C. nigra subsp. debeauxii, Iris orientalis, Oenanthe pimpinelloides var. chaerophylloides , Orchis ×lloydiana, Puccinellia festuciformis subsp. festuciformis, Rhinanthus alectorolophus, Taraxacum aginnense, T. alienum, T. gr. mediterraneum, T. obtusilobum, T. raii, T. santandricum, Trifolium resupinatum subsp. suaveolens, Vicia cordata ) and 2 more for the study area (Achillea cf. roseoalba and Alopecurus aequalis). New nomenclatural combinations We have proposed 4 new provisional nomenclatural combinations: Centaurea ×decipiens Thuill. nothosubsp. emporitana (Vayr. ex Sennen et Pau) Mercadal comb. nova nothovar. cadevallii (Font Quer ex O. Bolòs et Vigo) Mercadal comb. nova; Centaurea ×decipiens Thuill. nothosubsp. emporitana (Vayr. ex Sennen et Pau) Mercadal comb. nova nothovar. emporitana comb. nova; Centaurea ×decipiens Thuill. nothosubsp. ruscinonensis (Boiss.) Dostál nothovar. duboisii (Boreau) Mercadal comb. nova; Centaurea ×decipiens Thuill. nothosubsp. ruscinonensis (Boiss.) Dostál nothovar. grandiflora (Gaudin ex Schübl. et G. Martens) Mercadal comb. nova. At-risk and protected plants We detected 33 species that are at risk or are protected in some way in France, the Languedoc-Roussillon region, or by the Catalan Government. 17 taxa present some kind of protection; 4 4 are protected and are in critical danger (Leucojum aestivum subsp. aestivum, Ranunculus nodiflorus, Scorzonera humilis and Senecio aquaticus); 3 are in danger (Juncus heterophyllus, Orchis × lloydiana and Orchis palustris), and only O. palustris is protected; and a further three are vulnerable (Isoetes setacea, Silaum silaus and Thalictrum lucidum), although only I. setacea is not protected. In addition, we catalogued 13 species that are near threatened (Aegopodium podagraria, Bellevalia romana, Cardamine parviflora, Carum verticillatum, Exaculum pusillum, Kickxia commutata subsp. commutata, Melilotus segetalis, M. siculus, Mentha cervina, Taraxacum ciliare, T. raii, Veronica anagallis-aquatica subsp. aquatica and V. scutellata). The IUCN status of these taxa is likely to worsen in the coming years as a result of climate change (mainly due to desiccation of wetlands) and habitat destruction (land development, wetland drainage, changes in land use and soil modification). New dichotomous keys for critical or new taxonomic groups for the "Flora dels Països Catalans" We have provided 12 keys for the following taxonomic groups, sometimes, with the help of external specialists: Alopecurus aequalis vs A. geniculatus, Bromus subgen. Bromus, Centaurea sect. Jacea, Elymus L., Festuca subgen. Schedonorus, Leucanthemum vulgare aggr., Orchis sect. Laxiflora, Ornithogalum subgen. Ornithogalum, Rhinanthus L., Taraxacum sect. Palustria, Tragopogon L. y Vicia gr. sativa.
Gabriel Mercadal i Corominas
added a research item
THE HAY MEADOWS IN THE MEDITERRANEAN REGION OF CATALONIA. GEOBOTANICAL CHARACTERISATION, AGRI-ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT, AND STUDY OF THE PHYTOSOCIOLOGICAL RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN HAY MEADOWS IN WESTERN EUROPE. VOLUME 1: INTRODUCTION AND MAPPING OF THE MEADOW UNITS. In this doctoral thesis we geobotanically and agri-environmentally locate and describe the hay meadows in the Mediterranean region of Catalonia and the surrounding Central European region. The text is structured into five distinct chapters (introduction, mapping of the meadow units, flora, vegetation, and environmental management), which, due to the quantity of content, are spread across three volumes. Volume 1, chapter 1: introduction. In the first chapter, we clarify and define nomenclatural aspects of the term hay meadow and explain the historical evolution of the meadow area in the Catalan Mediterranean region, from its origins to the present day. The data has been obtained through a literature review, the revision of historical archives, and interviews with livestock farmers and hay farmers. Nomenclatural aspects We use the term "hay meadow" to describe seminatural mesophilic and mesohygrophilic herbaceous formations (rarely hygrophilic) that are regularly mown to feed animals housed in sheds. This compound word is a physiognomic term that includes several syntaxa, although phytosociologists have traditionally associated it with the order Arrhenatheretalia elatioris. However, the study area includes many other maintained and mown hay meadows from four distinct orders: Arrhenatheretalia elatioris, Deschampsietalia cespitosae, Juncetalia maritimi and Trifolio-Hordeetalia. The traditional term for these hay meadows in Catalan, prat de dall, is a compound word that probably comes from a translation of the French prairie de fauche, which was first incorporated into educated Catalan language and, finally, into everyday speech. However, in the study area, the people responsible for these meadows usually refer to them as: prats, prats d’herba, closes, gleva or jaça. Origin and evolution of the hay meadows in the Catalan Mediterranean region The first hay meadows in Europe date back to Neolithic times, although they did not become consequential until the Iron Age, when human occupation significantly modified all the landscape units. In Catalonia, meadows were initially established on the edges of wetlands, which were then very abundant, and ephemeral streams. It is likely that the Iberian people cultivated pasture on the coastal and pre-littoral fringes in Catalonia. However, the first reliable data on hay meadows being established and maintained on the Catalan coastal strip is from the Roman period. According to the Hispano-Roman scholar Columella (1st century AD), the Romans were already experts in cultivating hay meadows, despite the fact they probably cut them using a sickle. From that time on, the hay meadows of the lowlands and adjacent mountainous areas expanded as the rural population increased up until the mid-19th century, when they reached their maximum extent in Catalonia and across much of Europe. At the end of the 19th century, this dynamic began to reverse, and hay meadows were gradually replaced by other crops, such as wheat, alfalfa, rice, and riparian tree plantations. However, it was not until the 1950s, with the so-called rural exodus, that large areas of meadow began to be abandoned or broken up. Today, thousands of hectares of hay meadows have been lost in the Mediterranean region of northeastern Catalonia. According to the physiography of the study area, the loss oscillates between 61% and 94% of the surface area. The regions that currently have the greatest surface area of meadow are the plains of the Alt Empordà and Rosselló counties, thanks to the presence of floodable soils suitable for establishing pastures and the livestock tradition in these localities. In contrast, in the lower course of the Tordera, on the Baix Empordà plain, in Montseny, and the Guilleries, meadows have declined sharply as a result of land use changes. Volume 1, chapter 2: mapping of the meadow units. In the second chapter we define the study area, which corresponds to the Mediterranean region of northeastern Catalonia, from Salses (Rosselló) in the north to the Corredor Massif (Maresme and Vallès Oriental) in the south; and from the sea to the Guilleries (La Selva) and Prada (Conflent), from sea level to an altitude of 600(1,000) m. We also studied, although much less intensely, the adjacent meadows in the Central European region up to an altitude of 1,200 m, in the Alt Montseny, Garrotxa, Alt Vallespir, and Canigó regions. Based on the literature review, personal communications, and fieldwork, we mapped all the hay meadows we located in the study area, at a scale of 1:5,000. The GIS data has allowed us to establish 16 physiographic areas (Alt Vallespir; Alta Garrotxa; Conflent; lower course of the Tordera; the massifs of the Guilleries, Salines, Montseny, Queragut-Millars, Corredor-Montnegre; the plains of Alt Empordà, Baix Empordà, La Selva and Rosselló; the Albera Range; the Olositanic territory; and the Mogent Valley), 152 meadow units, and 915 meadows that occupy a total area of 1,744 hectares, distributed over 54 10 km x 10 km UTM squares. We also collected data from the literature for a further 7 squares. In total, then, we studied 61 10 km x 10 km UTM squares that extend over 14 counties (comarques) in Catalonia. For each meadow unit (set of nearby meadows) we generated a file where we indicate its geographical position, geology, climatology, the historical evolution of the meadow, the current meadow typology, vegetation, unique flora, and environmental diagnosis. As for the syntaxa identified in the study area, we detected 53 different plant communities (ass. + subass.), of which only 20 are regularly harvested and suitable for feeding livestock. In total, we identified 42 associations and 17 subassociations, which we assigned to 14 classes, 22 orders, and 29 alliances.
Gabriel Mercadal i Corominas
added a research item
MERCADAL, G. 2019. Els prats de dall del coll de Pera, Montagut i Oix (Alta Garrotxa, NE de Catalunya) [31TDG5881]. In: VILAR, J.; CARRERES, J.; MERCADAL, G. & VIÑAS, X. (coord.). XLII Embardissada. pàg. 12-14. Centre Excursionista d'Olot. Olot.
Gabriel Mercadal i Corominas
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Se dan a conocer los primeros resultados sobre el estudio geobotánico de los prados de guadaña de la región mediterránea de Catalunya, en el noreste de la Península Ibérica. Se trata de una comunidad vegetal de elevado interés agrícola para la obtención de forraje, y ecológico como refugio para numerosas especies raras a nivel ibérico. El estudio se ha desarrollado a partir de la consulta de documentos bibliográficos y cartográficos y de las posteriores visitas de campo para la localización y prospección de los prados, integrando los datos obtenidos en un SIG para su posterior análisis. Hasta el momento se han localizado 289 prados que ocupan una superficie de 363 ha, aunque sólo un 59% se siegan regularmente para la obtención de forraje. Mediante el estudio florístico se han detectado 634 táxones, principalmente gramíneas, compuestas y papilionáceas, existiendo un predominio de los hemicriptófitos (46%) y de táxones eurosiberianos (32%). Los datos muestran la importancia de esta comunidad como refugio para distintas especies centroeuropeas, y su contribución a la biodiversidad de las zonas mediterráneas donde prosperan estos prados.
Gabriel Mercadal i Corominas
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We demonstrate the validity of the Arrhenatherion elatioris Koch 1926 based on the indirect reference Scherrer (1925), and we choose it as the preferential name to its homonym Arrhenatherion elatioris Luquet 1926 nom. illeg. (art. 31). Our choice is because the nomenclatural type of the Arrhenatherion Koch, Arrhenatheretum elatioris Scherrer 1925, is a association of the Arrhenatherion alliance; while that of Arrhenatherion Luquet, Agrostidetum Luquet 1926, corresponds to an association of the Triseto-Polygonion Br.-Bl. and Tx. ex Marschall 1947 alliance. Therefore, the prioritisation of Luquet’s authorship would include replacing Triseto-Polygonion with Arrhenatherion Luquet, because then that name would become the priority, and a new name would have to be found for the traditional concept of the Arrhenatherion. Ultimately, and if necessary, to avoid unnecessary nomenclatural changes and creating erroneous interpretations, article 52 (nomina conservanda) could also be applied to protect Arrhenatherion and Triseto-Polygonion.
Gabriel Mercadal i Corominas
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Gabriel Mercadal i Corominas
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Validation of the association Baldellio ranunculoidis-Oenanthetum fistulosae Mercadal, Gesti & Vilar 2008 and several subassociations of Carici remotae-Fraxinetum oxycarpae Pedrotti 1970 corr. Pedrotti 1992.
Gabriel Mercadal i Corominas
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Baldellio ranunculoidis-Oenanthetum fistulosae, a new association of hygrophilous vegetation in Catalan Countries (NE Iberian Peninsula) We have carried out an ecological and phytosociological classification of the meadows of Eleocharis palustris s.l. described in Catalan countries and propose a new herbaceous association characterised by Eleocharis palustris subsp. palustris, Baldellia ranunculoides, Oenanthe fistulosa, Gratiola officinalis, Mentha pulegium and Eleocharis palustris subsp. uniglumis. This community has been established in various palustral areas (wetlands, temporary ponds and hay meadows) of north-eastern Catalonia in an area of Fraxinus angustifolia forests (Ulmenion minoris and Populion albae). It forms a transitional catenal association between the communities of Phragmitetalia or Juncenion acutiflori and Arrhenatherion elatioris or Molinio-Holoschoenion vulgaris. Although the association has low plant richness (on average 12 taxa per inventory), it constitutes a unique habitat because it acts as a refuge for various rare or endangered species within the limits of the Catalan Countries, such as Cardamine parviflora, Rorippa aspera subsp. aspera, Veronica scutellata or Senecio aquaticus subsp. aquaticus.
Gabriel Mercadal i Corominas
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Hay meadows in Montseny Natural Park. Categorisation, location and management measures Hay meadows (Arrhenatherion alliance) are semi-natural meso-hygrophilous grassland communities comprising a wide variety of tall grasses that humans use as natural fodder for the livestock kept in stables during winter. They form habitats of great cultural and biological value, where traditional farming and the preservation of interesting plant and animal communities are compatible. However, they have gradually been abandoned because they are not very costeffective. According to the data currently available, there are some 21 hay meadows in Montseny Natural Park. We present the categorisation, location and condition of these meadows and point out the main measures and basic management techniques necessary to maintain them and reclaim them with the aim of preserving and boosting the biodiversity of the massif.
Gabriel Mercadal i Corominas
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Gabriel Mercadal i Corominas
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The study of plant material from three populations in northeastern Spain and southern France revealed the presence of O. umbellatum as a new record for the Iberian flora. Although this species had been cited in the Iberian Peninsula by various authors within the last two centuries, its presence in this territory could not been confirmed in recent years. A complete description is presented for O. umbellatum and an identification key is included to cover all species of Ornithogalum s. str. (O. subgen. Ornithogalum) of the Iberian Peninsula, as an amendment for their taxonomic treatment in Flora iberica.
Gabriel Mercadal i Corominas
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Es presenten els resultats sobre l’estudi geobotànic dels prats de dall de terra baixa de l’Empordà i especialment del Parc Natural dels Aiguamolls de l’Empordà. Els prats de dall, coneguts popularment en aquesta regió com a closes, són una comunitat semicultural d’elevat interès agrícola, pel que fa al subministrament d’herba, i ecològic, com a refugi de nombroses espècies rares a Catalunya i a la península Ibèrica. L’home els ha instaurat i mantingut des d’antic aprofitant antigues àrees lacustres dessecades, que encara s’inunden durant diversos mesos a l’any, i que no són aptes per al cultiu de cereals. Els canvis d’usos del sòl durant les darreres dècades han fet reduir fortament la seva superfície, essent, avui dia, un hàbitat humit de gran valor biològic que està en perill. L’estudi s’ha desenvolupat a partir de la consulta de documents bibliogràfics i cartogràfics i de les posteriors visites de camp per localitzar i prospectar els prats. Les dades obtingudes s’han integrat en un SIG per la seva anàlisi posterior. Al PNAE s’han identificat uns 150 prats que ocupen unes 264 ha tot i que només el 70% es dallen regularment. L’estudi florístic ha detectat 17 tàxons singulars. Finalment es detallen els prats amb major diversitat i s’anoten algunes possibles mesures de gestió per a corregir aquesta dinàmica recessiva.
The hay meadows of the Selva plain (NE part of Iberian Peninsula), the last habitat for several hygrophilous plants in the Mediterranean littoral area The Gaudinio fragilis-Arrhenatheretum elatioris Br.-Bl. 1931 coastal hay meadows are a very interesting natural habitat because they are the only environment in which several taxa very rare in Catalonia can grow. The hygrophile species that grow in the meadows of the Selva plain are listed and the need to maintain these meadows in order to preserve the floristic diversity of the area is stressed.
Gabriel Mercadal i Corominas
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Els prats de dall, coneguts popularment a l’Empordà com a closes, són una comunitat semicultural d’elevat interès agrícola, pel que fa al subministrament d’herba, i ecològic, com a refugi de nombroses espècies rares a Catalunya i a la península Ibèrica. S’han realitzat diversos articles i conferències per difondre els seus valors naturals i la seva problemàtica, però no s’ha tractat prou profundament la seva gestió tècnica, tan necessària per preservar-los. Aquesta jornada vol aprofundir en les tècniques de ressembra de closes i en l'adequació varietal segons la tipologia de sòls.
Gabriel Mercadal i Corominas
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Gabriel Mercadal i Corominas
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The project includes several studies: flora, phytosociology, soil science, agriculture, grassland management and mapping.