Publication details

National vegetation classification of the Czech Republic: a summary of the approach

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CHYTRÝ Milan TICHÝ Lubomír

Year of publication 2018
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Phytocoenologia
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Keywords Cocktail method; Czech Republic; expert system; phytosociology; vegetation classification; vegetation-plot database; vegetation survey
Description Aim: To describe the classification approach and protocols that were used in the project Vegetation of the Czech Republic and relate them to the comparative framework for broad-scale plot-based vegetation classification proposed by De Caceres et al. (2015). This description should facilitate comparison of this national vegetation classification with vegetation classifications in other countries. - Location: Czech Republic. - Methods: The project Vegetation of the Czech Republic, realized from 1997 to 2013, was based on the analyses of vegetation-plot records from the Czech National Phytosociological Database. Associations were defined as the basic hierarchical level using formal definitions created with the Cocktail method. These formal definitions were included in a computer expert system for automatic identification of associations. Evaluation and characterization of associations were based on the groups of plot records assigned to the particular associations by the expert system. Higher classification levels were classified by type-based grouping of associations. A novel statistical method for determining diagnostic species of vegetation types was developed within the project. All the analytical procedures used and developed for the project were included in the JUICE program. - Results: The national vegetation classification system was published in a four-volume monograph from 2007 to 2013. It consists of five hierarchical levels with nested vegetation types, including 9 formations, 39 classes, 138 alliances, 496 associations and for some associations also variants. At the same time the project infrastructure, including the expert system and the JUICE program, was published online. - Conclusions: The national vegetation classification of the Czech Republic provided novel classification approach and protocols. Several elements of these protocols have been subsequently applied in other countries. At the national level, the classification has found various applications both in nature conservation and in basic research.
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