Syntaxonomy of oak-hornbeam forests of Central Europe: new insights into old problems.
|Year of publication
|MU Faculty or unit
|Oak-hornbeam forests represent widespread mesophilous deciduous forest vegetation within Central Europe. There are many associations of the alliance Carpinion betuli described. Additionally, several associations of the alliance Erythronio-Carpinion , limited to the southernmost part of Central Europe, were recognized. However, approach to delimitation of associations often differs amongst countries of the region. Contrary to relative commonness of this vegetation, analysis of variability on a broad geographical scale, which could provide crucial insight into its variability, has not been carried out yet. Therefore the main goals of the project are as follows. 1) To analyse variability of Central European oak-hornbeam forests by various analyses of species composition of phytoso - ciological relevés obtained mainly from EVA. 2) To create formal definitions of selected associations using formal logic and based on results of the analyses. 3) To prepare a revised syntaxonomical system of the studied vegetation. The analysed dataset contained approximately 6000 relevés of oak-hornbeam forests from all Central European countries. Unweighted means of Ellenberg ´s indicator values and climatic variables obtained from CHELSA were appended to all relevés in order to provide better insight into environmental factors driving their variability. Executed analyses revealed that the main gradient in species composition follows changes in soil moisture and nutrient amount. However, geographical position is also important due to occurrence of many forest mesophytes with distinctive distribution ranges. Afterwards, cocktail formulas for selected associations based on results of numerical analyses were proposed. In this way, 15 association has been defined so far, 11 of the alliance Carpinion betuli and the rest of the alliance Erythronio-Carpinion . Approximately 40% of relevés of the dataset were classified on the association level. Mesophilous oak-hornbeam forest association Galio sylvatici-Carpinetum is the most common unit and it occupies central position among distinguished associations. Stellario holosteae-Carpinetum involving slightly wet types and Primulo veris-Carpinetum involving thermophilous Central European types are other relatively common associations. Final results will be presented during the meeting