This article was published in the WETLANDS journal. It aimed to investigate the state-of-the-art studies on wetland plants in Sardinia (Italy), find the most investigated research themes and wetland types, and identify knowledge gaps and provide recommendations on how such research might be improved and used in wetland management.
Plants are key elements of wetlands due to their evolutionary strategies for coping with life in a water-saturated environment, providing the basis for supporting nearly all wetland biota and habitat structure for other taxonomic groups. Sardinia, the second largest island of the Mediterranean Basin, hosts a great variety of wetlands, of which 16 are included in eight Ramsar sites. The 119 hydro- and hygrophilous vascular plant taxa from Sardinia represent the 42.6% and 37.9% of the number estimated for Italy and Europe, respectively. Moreover, around 30% of Sardinia’s bryological flora, which is made up of 498 taxa, is present in temporary ponds. An overview at regional scale considering algae is not available, to our knowledge, even though several specific studies have contributed to their knowledge. In order to find the most investigated research themes and wetland types, identify knowledge gaps and suggest recommendations for further research, we present a first attempt to outline the work that has been hitherto done on plants in lentic habitats in Sardinia. Three plant groups (algae, bryophytes and vascular plants), and five research themes (conservation, ecology, inventory, palaeobotany and taxonomy) were considered. After a literature review, we retained 202 papers published from 1960 to 2019. We found that studies on vascular plants, as plant group, were disproportionately more numerous, and inventories and ecology were the most investigated research themes. Although efforts have recently been made to fill these long-lasting gaps, there is a need for updating the existing information through innovative methods and integrative approaches.
Bibliographical reference: Cuena-Lombraña, A., Fois, M., Cogoni, A. et al. Where we Come from and where to Go: Six Decades of Botanical Studies in the Mediterranean Wetlands, with Sardinia (Italy) as a Case Study. Wetlands 41, 69 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13157-021-01464-z