3,448 research outputs found

    Plant communities of Italy. The vegetation prodrome

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    The Vegetation Prodrome of Italy was promoted in 2012 by the Italian "Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea Protection", in collaboration with the "Italian Society of Botany", to provide a comprehensive and systematic catalogue and description of Italian plant communities. The Prodrome that is presented in this paper is the first full organic synthesis of the vegetation of Italy at the alliance syntaxonomic level. It fulfils several needs, the main one being a unified and comprehensive national framework that may make an important contribution to the definition of the European Vegetation Prodrome. Syntaxonomy, as well as taxonomy, is sometimes based on considerations that may in part diverge: several authors tend to favour models that are divisive or aggregative to a greater or lesser extent in terms of flora, biogeography and ecology. These different points of view stimulate the scientific debate and allow the adoption of a framework that is more widely supported. The Prodrome includes 75 classes, 2 subclasses, 175 orders, 6 suborders and 393 alliances. The classes were grouped into nine broad categories according to structural, physiognomic and synecological elements rather than to syntaxonomic criteria. The rank, full valid name, any synonymies and incorrect names are provided for each syntaxon. The short declaration highlights the physiognomy, synecology, syndynamics and distribution of the plant communities that belong to the syntaxon. The Prodrome of the Italian Vegetation is linked to the European Strategy for Biodiversity, the European Habitats Directive and the European Working Groups related to the ecosystems and their services. In addition to basic applications, the Prodrome can be used as a framework for scientific research related to the investigation of the relationships between plant communities and the environmental factors that influence their composition and distribution

    The Bostrichidae of the Maltese Islands (Coleoptera)

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    The Bostrichidae of the Maltese Islands are reviewed. Ten species are recorded with certainty from this Archipelago, of which 6 namely, Trogoxylon impressum (Comolli, 1837), Amphicerus bimaculatus (A.G. Olivier, 1790), Heterobostrychus aequalis (Waterhouse, 1884), Sinoxylon unidentatum (Fabricius, 1801), Xyloperthella picea (A.G. Olivier, 1790) and Apate monachus Fabricius, 1775 are recorded for the first time. Two of the mentioned species (H. aequalis and S. unidentatum) are alien and recorded only on the basis of single captures and the possible establishment of these species is discussed. Earlier records of Scobicia pustulata (Fabricius, 1801) from Malta are incorrect and should be attributed to S. chevrieri (A. Villa & J.B. Villa, 1835). A zoogeographical analysis and an updated checklist of the 12 species of Bostrichidae recorded from the Maltese Islands and neighbouring Sicilian islands (Pantelleria, Linosa and Lampedusa) are also provided. Rhizopertha dominica (Fabricius, 1792) form granulipennis Lesne in Beeson & Bhatia, 1937 from Uttarakhand (northern India) was overlooked by almost all subsequent authors. Its history is summarized and the following new synonymy is established: Rhizopertha dominica (Fabricius, 1792) form granulipennis Lesne in Beeson & Bhatia, 1937 = Rhyzopertha dominica (Fabricius, 1792), syn. n. Finally, records of Amphicerus bimaculatus from Azerbaijan, of Bostrichus capucinus (Linnaeus, 1758) from Jordan and Syria, of Scobicia chevrieri from Jordan and Italy, of Xyloperthella picea from Italy, and of Apate monachus from Corsica (France) and Italy, are also provided.peer-reviewe

    Consumption and Choice in Ancient Sicily

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    Research has been carried out since 2002 on domestic material of the 5th century BC from the site of Morgantina, located in the hills of east-central Sicily. Two settlements have been uncovered at Morgantina: one on the Cittadella hill, reportedly destroyed in 459 BC (according to Diodorus), and the other on the adjoining Serra Orlando ridge, founded by at least 430 BC. Since the site features two well-dated and discrete sets of artefacts, it presents an excellent opportunity to track the behaviour of ancient populations over time. Among the results of this research is the discovery that choices made by consumers at Morgantina from the array of available imported pottery, particularly the black gloss ware made at Athens, varied widely between the first and second halves of the century. While consumers have often been ignored by archaeologists and historians in favour of concentrating on groups that are easier to identify, such as manufacturers and merchants, consumption of imported products has been explored in anthropological terms by Michael Dietler, among others, and in economic terms – albeit to a lesser extent – by Lin Foxhall. Their approaches have focused on the meanings of objects in foreign cultures, leaving aside the decision-making process that leads to the purchase or rejection of a consumer good. This paper seeks to develop an interpretative model of consumption in the ancient world derived not only from the work of the above-mentioned scholars, but also from buying habits and the notion of consumer choice. By examining the ability of consumers to choose, and the choices they made, a better understanding of the role of imports within Mediterranean societies can be formed

    Negotiating Social Entanglements through Feasting in Iron Age and Archaic Western Sicily

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    Iron Age and Archaic western Sicilians interacted with Greek and Phoenician colonists. The effects of this interaction accumulated over time, introducing new ideas and material culture. Here, western Sicilians transformed their feasting assemblages, reinventing their visual displays of wealth, power, and prestige. This local response created new material culture and expressions of identity.I Siciliani occidentali dell’età del ferro e arcaici interagirono con i coloni greci e fenici. Gli effetti di questa interazione si sono accumulati nel tempo, introducendo nuove idee e cultura materiale. Qui, i Siciliani occidentali hanno trasformato i loro festeggiamenti, reinventando le loro manifestazioni visive di ricchezza, potere e prestigio. Questa risposta locale ha creato una nuova cultura materiale ed espressioni di identità

    Malta's changing role in Mediterranean cross-currents : from prehistory to Roman times

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    The Mediterranean started to assume its fundamental role of a unifying agent between peoples, cultures and between the different lands that surround it - between east and west, between north and south - during the seventh millennium B.C., that is, when the earliest signs of trade appeared which were stimulated by the availability of surplus food brought about by the discovery and adoption of agriculture in the Near East. Trade and agriculture interacted in such a way as to spread the new (or Neolithic) way of life, in all its facets, to the rest of the Mediterranean. Trade helped to spread the idea of agriculture to all the shores of the Mediterranean and beyond, and through trade the Neolithic farmers discovered increasingly more land to harness for agricultural purposes in order to feed the growing population.peer-reviewe

    Colonial engagements in the global Mediterranean Iron Age

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    Chapter Assessment of the ecological status of Sicilian coastal waters according to a macroalgae based index (CARLIT)

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    In the frame of the European Water Framework Directive (WFD, 2000/60/EC), a macroalgae based index (CARLIT) was applied along the Sicilian coastal water bodies (WBs) in order to assess for the first time their ecological status and collect accurate information on the distribution and abundance of shallow-water communities, especially of those most sensitive. The ecological quality ratio values, sensu WFD, showed “high”/“good” levels in all WBs with lushy forests of Cystoseira amentacea except two with “moderate” level due to the presence of stress-tolerant species related to local factors

    Site, artefacts and landscape : Prehistoric Borg in-Nadur, Malta

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    This paper reviews the evidence for maritime connections between Malta and Sicily in the second millennium BC and considers their social implications. Since much of what has been written by antiquarians and archaeologists about the islands was often the result of more modern maritime connections and knowledge transfer between local and foreign scholars, we begin by arguing for the relevance of a spatially oriented history of archaeological thought and practice.peer-reviewe