Research Article
Research Article
Contribution to the floristic knowledge of the Maddalena Mountains (Basilicata and Campania, southern Italy)
expand article infoLeonardo Rosati, Vito Antonio Romano, Fabrizio Bartolucci§, Liliana Bernardo|, Daniela Bouvet, Laura Cancellieri#, Giuseppe Caruso¤, Fabio Conti§, Francesco Faraoni«, Enrico Banfi», Gabriele Galasso˄, Edda Lattanzi˅, Paolo Lavezzo¦, Simonetta Pecceniniˀ, Enrico Vito Perrinoˁ, Giovanni Salerno«, Adriano Sciandra, Adriano Soldano, Adriano Stinca, Chiara Totta«, Simonetta Fascetti
‡ University of Basilicata, Potenza, Italy
§ University of Camerino, Camerino, Italy
| Department of Biology, Ecology and Earth Science (DIBEST), University of Calabria, Arcavacata di Rende (Cosenza), Italy
¶ Università di Torino, Torino, Italy
# Tuscia University, Viterbo, Italy
¤ Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy
« Università degli Studi Roma Tre, Rome, Italy
» Sezione di Botanica, Museo di Storia Naturale di Milano, Corso Venezia 55, 20121 Milano, Italy
˄ Museo di Storia Naturale di Milano, Milano, Italy
˅ Via V. Cerulli 59, Rome, Italy
¦ 10Via Teodosio Macrobio 19, Rome, Italy
ˀ Università di Genova, Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, dell’Ambiente e della Vita, Genova, Italy
ˁ CIHEAM – Istituto Agronomico Mediterraneo di Bari, Bari, Italy
₵ Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari, Bari, Italy
ℓ Largo Brigata Cagliari 6, Vercelli, Italy
₰ University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy
₱ University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Caserta, Italy
Open Access


The inventory of the taxa collected during the annual field trip of the working group for Floristics Systematics and Evolution of the Italian Botanical Society is reported. It was held in 2013 along the Maddalena Mountains a mountain ridge of the southern Apennines located between the Basilicata and Campania administrative regions (southern Italy) considered as being poorly characterized in terms of vascular flora. A total of 701 units belonging to 74 plant families were recorded including two varieties and four hybrids.Thirty-five taxa resulted endemic to Italy and only 11 alien species were detected while 36 taxa are new or confirmed for the regional floras of Basilicata and/or Campania. In particular 12 taxa are new for Basilicata while four are confirmed. Regarding Campania 14 taxa resulted new for the regional flora and five were confirmed.


New floristic records, regional flora, southern Apennines, vascular flora


In recent years, the working group for Floristics, Systematics and Evolution of the Italian Botanical Society has been very active in increasing the knowledge about the vascular flora of poorly known areas. Specifically, several contributions have been published regarding southern Italy (e.g. Bernardo et al. 2012, Wagensommer et al. 2014, Domina et al. 2015), as the result of the annual field trip organized by the group. Two of these contributions were focused on Basilicata (Conti et al. 2006, 2007b) and one on Campania region (Santangelo et al. 2010).

The selection of the areas to be investigated has been mostly addressed to fill the gaps pointed out by Scoppola and Blasi (2005) or by others regional or national projects, as the mapping of Important Plant Areas (Blasi et al. 2011).

In this paper, we present the results of the field trip held in 2013 in the southern Apennines and organized by the botanists of the University of Basilicata (L. Rosati, S. Fascetti and V.A. Romano), aimed at increasing our floristic knowledge of the western border between the Italian administrative regions of Basilicata and Campania.

Study area

The investigated area includes the central part of the Maddalena Mountains and some neighbouring biotopes of particular interest for vascular plants (Suppl. material 1: 1).

The Maddalena Mountains are a carbonatic ridge, aligned from NNW to SSE and extending for 40 km. They are located between the intramountain basins of the Val d’Agri (Basilicata) to the east and the Vallo di Diano (Campania) to the west. The altitude ranges from 300 m a.s.l. at the bottom of Melandro Valley, to 1503 m a.s.l. at the top of Serra Longa.

This sector of the southern Apennines is characterized by a remarkable geological complexity, mainly due to the effects of a translational tectonic that placed the formations of the Mesozoic carbonatic platform on the silico-clastic Lagonegrese Units. The Holocenic detritus represents the connection with the recent alluvial deposits of the main valleys due to tectonic morpho-structures shaped like a “graben” (Grimaldi and Summa 2005).

The morpho-structure of the Maddalena Mountains is less affected by karst phenomena than other massifs of southern Italy; however, karstification is well developed in those areas where Cretaceous limestones prevail on Triassic dolomites (Celico 1979). Several tectonic-karst basins (Mandrano, Mandranello, Magorno etc.) that are periodically flooded during the winter-spring season and are dotted with numerous sinkholes can be observed; they correspond to graben or contacts between lithotypes with different permeabilities.

Rainfall in the area is concentrated in the autumn-winter period, with a maximum in November-December and a minimum in summer (July-August); a summer drought of two to three months also occurs (Suppl. material 1: 2). Annual average temperature ranges from 12.5 to 14.7 °C, with the hottest months in summer (July-August) and the coldest in winter (January-February).

According to the classification proposed by Rivas-Martinez et al. (2011), a dominant Mediterranean pluviseasonal oceanic-semicontinental macrobioclimate can be recognized in the hilly and submontane belt (ranging from the lower humid mesomediterranean to humid supramediterranean phytoclimatic belt). However, local factors (increasing altitude, northern slopes) influence the shift towards the oceanic humid supratemperate belt.

The Maddalena Mountains are partially included within the Appennino Lucano National Park and within two Natura 2000 sites: “Monti della Maddalena” (code IT8050034) and “Faggeta di Moliterno” (code IT9210110). Nevertheless, this territory has never been the object of specific botanical contributions, except for the biotope “Faggeta di Moliterno” located in the southern part of the ridge (Fascetti et al. 2013). Other information concerning the vascular flora of this sector is available for the adjacent areas of the Lucanian Apennines (e.g. Gavioli 1948) or for the Cilento, Vallo di Diano and Alburni National Park (e.g. Moggi 2002, Rosati et al. 2010, 2012 and references therein).

Materials and methods

To maximize vascular flora sampling, 12 sites were selected as representative of the local diversity in terms of climate, litho-morphology, and land use (Suppl. material 1: 3).They were intensively sampled during the period 5–8 June, 2013 by 24 participants (Suppl. material 1: 4). The floristic list followed the same methodology as in previous contributions (e.g. Conti et al. 2006, Peccenini et al. 2010, Peruzzi et al. 2011).

The work was coordinated and the floristic list drawn up by the organizers with the contribution of all participants to the excursion. A revision of the samples collected during the field work was carried out at the University of Roma Tre (27–28 February, 2014), followed by specific studies and comparisons of unidentified taxa. Some critical samples were sent to specialists for determination: Viola (A. Scoppola, Viterbo), Orobanche (G. Domina, Palermo), ferns (D. Marchetti, Massa).

Nomenclature and taxa delimitation followed the updated version of the Checklist of Italian Flora (Bartolucci et al. 2016, Galasso et al. 2016), which is currently in the final stage of drafting, except for varieties (not considered in the Italian Checklist) and some hybrids (for further details see the notes in Suppl. material 1: 6). For the Orchidaceae, we followed Hertel and Presser (2015) and GIROS (2016), whereas for the genus Rosa we referred to Klastersky (1968).

For each unit at least one herbarium specimen was prepared and preserved in public or private herbaria listed in Suppl. material 1: 5.

The floristic list (Suppl. material 1: 6) was sorted in a linear sequence of families according to PPG I (2016), Christenhusz et al. (2011) and APG IV (2016) and taxa were ordered alphabetically. Synonyms are indicated in square brackets only in the case of changes that have occurred from the last version of the Italian Checklist of vascular flora (Conti et al. 2005, 2007a).

For each unit, we reported locations of collection, using the abbreviations given in Suppl. material 1: 3, and the prevailing environments of growth. The herbaria where samples are stored (acronyms for official herbaria according to Thiers 2016) are reported in brackets. The floristic novelties for the regional flora are marked with asterisks in Supplementary data (* = confirmed taxon, ** = taxon new for the regional flora, BAS = Basilicata; CAM = Campania). The letters “E” and “A” preceding the scientific names of the taxa indicate endemic and alien taxa, respectively.


In total, more than 2600 samples of vascular plants were collected, belonging to 701 taxa and 74 families (see the complete floristic list in the Suppl. material 1: 1), including two varieties (Ophrys apifera Huds var. bicolor (Nägeli) E.Nelson and Salvia officinalis L. var. angustifolia Ten.) and four hybrids (Acer × coriaceum Bosc ex Tausch., Anacamptis morio (L.) R.M.Bateman, Pridgeon & M.W.Chase × A. laxiflora (Lam.) R.M.Bateman, Pridgeon & M.W.Chase, Crataegus × media Bechst. nothovar. sicula (K.Koch) K.I.Chr., and Thymus longicaulis C.Presl × Thymus striatus Vahl).

Thirty-five taxa are considered endemic to Italy (Peruzzi et al. 2014) and, amongst these, the following are restricted to southern Italy:

Achillea rupestris Huter, Porta & Rigo subsp. calcarea (Huter, Porta & Rigo) Greuter

Alyssum diffusum Ten. subsp. calabricum Španiel, Marhold, N.G.Passal. & Lihová

Epipactis collaris S.Hertel

Epipactis lucana H.Presser, S.Hertel & V.A.Romano

Knautia lucana Lacaita & Szabó

Koeleria lucana Brullo, Giusso & Miniss.

Koeleria splendens C.Presl

Lathyrus jordanii (Ten.) Ces., Pass. & Gibelli

Scorzonera villosa Scop. subsp. columnae (Guss.) Nyman

Viola aethnensis (DC.) Strobl subsp. splendida (W.Becker) Merxm. & Lippert

Only 11 taxa were alien (Agrostemma githago L., Centaurea cyanus, L., Erigeron sumatrensis Retz., Gladiolus italicus Mill., Isatis tinctoria L. subsp. tinctoria, Malus pumila Mill., Papaver dubium L. subsp. dubium, Petroselinum crispum (Mill.) Fuss, Prunus dulcis (Mill.) D.A.Webb, Senecio inaequidens DC., Veronica persica Poir.).

Thirty-six taxa have to be considered as floristic novelties because either new or confirmed for the regional flora of Basilicata and/or Campania.

In particular, 12 resulted new for the flora of Basilicata:

Asparagus tenuifolius Lam.

Blackstonia acuminata (W.D.J.Koch & Ziz) Domin subsp. aestiva (K.Malý) Zeltner

Carex humilis Leyss.

Colchicum lusitanum Brot.

Iberis umbellata L.

Jasione montana L.

Koeleria splendens C.Presl

Lupinus albus L. subsp. graecus (Boiss. & Spruner) Franco & P.Silva

Rosa inodora Fr.

Rosa mollis Sm.

Valerianella microcarpa Loisel.

Viola eugeniae Parl. subsp. eugeniae

As regards the following units, the subspecific rank for Basilicata was specified:

Rhinanthus alectorolophus (Scop.) Pollich subsp. alectorolophus

Silene italica (L.) Pers. subsp. sicula (Ucria) Jeanm.

Four taxa were confirmed for Basilicata:

Cardamine amporitana Sennen & Pau

Thalictrum simplex L. subsp. simplex

Thymus moesiacus Velen.

Scabiosa columbaria L. subsp. portae (Huter) Hayek

Fourteen taxa resulted new for the regional flora of Campania:

Bromus hordeaceus L. subsp. pseudothominei (P.M.Sm.) H.Scholz

Carex tomentosa L.

Hordeum geniculatum All.

Juncus tenageia L.f. subsp. tenageia

Knautia lucana Lacaita & Szabó

Koeleria lucana Brullo, Giusso & Miniss.

Pilosella piloselloides (Vill.) Soják subsp. praealta (Gochnat) S.Bräut. & Greuter

Ranunculus peltatus Schrank subsp. peltatus

Rosa mollis Sm.

Rubus incanescens L.

Sanguisorba officinalis L.

Scabiosa columbaria L. subsp. portae (Huter) Hayek

Silene italica (L.) Pers. subsp. sicula (Ucria) Jeanm.

Trifolium phleoides Willd.

Finally, five taxa were confirmed for Campania:

Alisma lanceolatum With.

Alopecurus aequalis Sobol.

Myosotis nemorosa Besser

Sabulina glaucina (Dvořáková) Dillenb. & Kadereit

Vicia serratifolia Jacq.


The high number of taxa surveyed in a few days and in a limited number of sampling localities undoubtedly indicates the high level of biodiversity of the Maddalena Mountains, an area that until now did not attract explorations by botanists.

The number of new or confirmed units at the regional level underlines the fact that floristic knowledge of Basilicata and Campania cannot yet be considered satisfactory, despite numerous publications produced in recent years (e.g. Azzella et al. 2014, Bernardo and Caldararo 2014, Rosati et al. 2012, 2015, Bonari et al. 2016, Roma-Marzio et al. 2016, Stinca et al. 2016, 2017). It should be emphasized that several collected units are linked to wetlands that risk to disappear or to become altered both globally and locally. Finally, the limited number of surveyed exotic species can be considered as an indicator of the favourable conservation status of the investigated territories that are characterized mostly by natural/semi-natural habitats or by traditional arable land of mountainous areas.


We are grateful to Anna Scoppola, Dino Marchetti, Gianniantonio Domina for the determination of some critical samples. Giovanna Potenza and Emmanuele Farris kindly collaborate to organize the field trip. A special thanks to Michele Cicerchia and his family for the warm hospitality at the Hotel Eden in Brienza. The visit to the hill of Caracciolo’s Castle was a courtesy of the Municipality of Brienza. We should also like to thank Fernando Lucchese and Alfred Mayer for having hosted and supported the working days for review of the critical samples at the University of Roma Tre. Michela Marignani has kindly revised the English language. We are grateful to Francesco Roma-Marzio and Gianniantonio Domina for the improvements to the first draft of the paper.


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Supplementary material

Supplementary material 1 

Supplementary data

Leonardo Rosati, Vito Antonio Romano, Fabrizio Bartolucci, Liliana Bernardo, Daniela Bouvet, Laura Cancellieri, Giuseppe Caruso, Fabio Conti, Francesco Faraoni, Gabriele Galasso, Edda Lattanzi, Paolo Lavezzo, Simonetta Peccenini, Enrico Vito Perrino, Giovanni Salerno, Adriano Sciandra, Adriano Soldano, Adriano Stinca, Chiara Totta, Simonetta Fascetti

Data type: Word .doc file

Explanation note:

1. Study area. Surveyed sites are marked with red squares (for details see Suppl. material 1: 3 and 7–8).

2. Thermo-pluviometric diagram of two representative stations of Maddalena Mountains. Observation period of Moliterno station: 1923–2007; Sala Consilina: 1975–1995. Data from “Annali idrologici, Ministero dei lavori pubblici, Servizio idrografico”. Solid line: average monthly values; dashed lined: average monthly maximum temperature; point-dashed line: average monthly minimum temperature.

3. Coded locality and geographical features of surveys. Coordinates are reported with decimal degrees WGS84. For detailed topographic map of each sites see Suppl. material 1: 7–8.

4. The 24 participants of the excursion of the Italian Botanical Society to the Maddalena Mountains, plus P. Scelzo, the Mayor of Brienza, (the second at the bottom from the left) during the visit to the mediaeval Caracciolo's Castle (courtesy of the Municipality of Brienza). Photo V.A. Romano.

5. Herbarium acronyms and institutions where the collected samples are stored.

6. Floristic list of taxa surveyed in the Maddalena Mountains.

7. Topographic map of surveyed sites (1–6). Floristic sampling sites are coded according to Supplementary 1 and 3; the cells grid is 1 × 1 km.

8. Topographic map of surveyed sites (7–12). Floristic sampling sites are coded according to Suppl. material 1: 1 and 3; the cells grid is 1 × 1 km.

This dataset is made available under the Open Database License ( The Open Database License (ODbL) is a license agreement intended to allow users to freely share, modify, and use this Dataset while maintaining this same freedom for others, provided that the original source and author(s) are credited.
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