A survey of flora and habitat diversity in three cultural heritage sites of central and southern Italy

ID: 613 / 467

Category: Abstract

Track: Pending

Proposed Symposium Title: A survey of flora and habitat diversity in three cultural heritage sites of central and southern Italy


Giulia Albani Rocchetti1, Thomas Abeli1, Giulia Caneva1


Affiliations: 1 Department of Science, Roma Tre University, Rome, Italy.


Several scientific studies highlight that cultural heritage sites, e.g., monuments and sacred sites, often represent refuge sites for local flora and fauna and can constitute important ecological corridors and biodiversity hot spots. Hence, protected cultural heritage sites can play a key role in biodiversity conservation at the global scale, especially for those situated in environments modified by anthropogenic activities. To ensure adequate management of these sites to enhance and conserve biodiversity, in-depth knowledge of the flora, vegetation and the nature-man relationship are essential elements to consider.

My research aims to provide the first characterization and analysis of the flora and habitats of three Italian sites of the Cultural Route of the Council of Europe "Aeneas’ route". My research is also aimed at increasing citizens' awareness of the importance of maintaining biodiversity and analyzing the relationships between natural and historical characteristics of these important contexts in southern Italy.

Currently, field surveys are being conducted in the following sites:

1) The archaeological Park of Cuma is a site of great archaeological and cultural importance, with areas of great naturalistic and conservation interest. Here, 160ca different taxa and two interesting forest communities formed by previous plantations now naturalized were founded.

2) Sanctuary of Sol Indiges, Torvaianica; to date, the site is rich in taxa (more than 180 species), with species of conservation interest (e.g., orchids) and high biodiversity and community patterns.

3) The archaeological area of ​​Portus presents a high naturalistic, landscape, historical and cultural interest. Here, more than 160 different wild and cultivated taxa, and different vegetation patterns -including wetland and riparian - were found.

Here, preliminary data useful for the next characterization, valorization, and conservation of the flora and vegetation of the above-listed sites are provided. The application of results includes the site management implementation and the planning of conservation actions.

Symposia selection: 37, 67, 62

Key words: Aeneas’ route, archaeological sites, awareness, biodiversity, plant conservation, refugia