This book discusses the remarkable plant diversity of the Maltese Archipelago. Despite its relatively small area and long-term human exploitation, many different plant communities occur in this territory. The book presents phytosociological investigations, together with taxonomical studies, which have been conducted over more than forty years, highlighting the unique features of this central Mediterranean insular ecosystem. It also describes the phytosociological role played by several narrow endemic or phytogeographically relevant taxa and introduces many phytocoenoses exclusively growing in the archipelago. The study integrates the palaeogeographic issues linked to the ancient and intriguing history of the different civilizations that succeeded on the islands for thousands of years. The book also focuses on the N2000 habitats.
- Preface. - Physyography.- History of the Flora and Vegetation.- Syntaxonomical Arrangment of Vegetation. - Woody Vegetation.- Chasmophilous Vegetation.- Rocky Coast Vegetation.- Psammophilous Vegetation.- Salt Marsh Vegetation.- Hygrophilous Vegetation.- Seagrass Vegetation.- Rocky Pool Vegetation.- Woody Riparian Vegetation.- Annual Xerophilous Vegetation.- Xerophilous Grasslands.- Chasmo-nitrophilous Vegetation.- Annual Halophilous Vegetation.- Ruderal Vegetation.- Weedy Commensal Vegetation.- Subnitrophilous Vegetation of Uncultivated Lands.- Syndinamic Considerations.- Maltese Habitat of Community Interest.
Salvatore Brullo was a Full Professor of Botany at the University of Catania (Italy) from 1980 and is now retired. His research mainly focused on the flora and vegetation of the Mediterranean area, and he has published over 500 scientific papers with taxonomical, karyological, anatomical, ecological and chorological approaches. He has also described more than 300 new species in numerous genera of Mediterranean flora. His phytosociological surveys have investigated most of the Mediterranean territories as well as the Canary Islands.
Cristian Brullo graduated in Natural Sciences in 2005 and received his PhD in Environmental Science in 2009, both from the University of Catania (Italy). His research focuses mainly on taxonomic, phytogeographic and phytosociological investigations of the Mediterranean flora, including the description of numerous new species belonging to various genera. He has published more than 60 scientific papers.
Salvatore Cambria graduated in Plant Biology and Ecology from Palermo University (Italy), and is currently pursuing his PHD in Biological Sciences at Catania University (Italy), focusing on a critical review of Sicily's vegetation. He has collaborated in several phytosociological and taxonomical research projects on the Mediterranean flora and vegetation, particularly on Allium, Bituminaria, Silene, Ferula and Salix genera. He is a member of OPTIMA and the Italian Botanical Society (SBI).
Gianpietro Giusso del Galdo is a Full Professor of Systematic Botany at Catania University. His research chiefly focuses on the flora and vegetation of the Mediterranean basin. Moved by his great passion for the mountain territories, he has investigated the highest mountains of the large Mediterranean islands. In particular, his taxonomic and systematic investigations have resulted in the identification of several new taxa. His studies have made significant contributions to improving our phytosociological understanding of certain vegetation types occurring in various Mediterranean countries, to updating or knowledge of their flora and, lastly, to assessing human impacts on the investigated territories and the conservation status of various endemic taxa and plant communities.