The aims of this paper are to describe the state of the environmental knowledge of the terrestrial National Parks (NPs) in Italy and to assess their conservation status and their efficacy to deal with the pressures of land changes. We collected and analysed data regarding land units, vegetation series, old-growth forests, Important Plant Areas (IPAs) and changes in landscape conservation status, to provide a systemic overview of the condition of the NPs and to verify their effectiveness against pressures and impacts induced by human activities. Moreover, NPs were organised according to the ecoregional setting for a multi-scale interpretation of biodiversity baselines and indicators. The results highlight the essential role of NP system for biodiversity conservation in Italy. The long-term protection regime proved to be particularly effective as a means of conserving ageing forest communities, threatened vascular plants and contrasting threats posed by human-induced changes. However, this work points out the need for more detailed scientific data for a comprehensive assessment of the representativeness and effectiveness of the NP system. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
Do National Parks play an active role in conserving the natural capital of Italy? / Capotorti, Giulia; Zavattero, Laura; Anzellotti, Ilaria; Burrascano, Sabina; Frondoni, Raffaella; M., Marchetti; M., Marignani; D., Smiraglia; Blasi, Carlo. - In: PLANT BIOSYSTEMS. - ISSN 1126-3504. - 146:2(2012), pp. 258-265. [10.1080/11263504.2012.695298]