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Classification of European beech forests: a Gordian Knot?

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WILLNER Wolfgang JIMÉNEZ-ALFARO GONZÁLEZ Francisco De Borja AGRILLO Emiliano BIURRUN Idoia CAMPOS Juan Antonio ČARNI Andraž CASELLA Laura CSIKY János ĆUŠTEREVSKA Renata DIDUKH Yakiv P. EWALD Jörg JANDT Ute JANSEN Florian KACKI Zygmunt Walerian KAVGACI Ali LENOIR Jonathan MARINŠEK Aleksander ONYSHCHENKO Viktor RODWELL John S. SCHAMINÉE Joop H. J. ŠIBÍK Jozef ŠKVORC Željko SVENNING Jens-Christian TSIRIPIDIS Ioannis TURTUREANU Pavel Dan TZONEV Rossen VASSILEV Kiril VENANZONI Roberto WOHLGEMUTH Thomas CHYTRÝ Milan

Rok publikování 2017
Druh Článek v odborném periodiku
Časopis / Zdroj Applied Vegetation Science
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Přírodovědecká fakulta

Citace
www http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/avsc.12299/abstract
Doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/avsc.12299
Obor Botanika
Klíčová slova Beech forest; Europe; Fagetalia sylvaticae; Fagion sylvaticae; Fagus sylvatica; Luzulo-Fagion sylvaticae; Syntaxonomy; TWINSPAN; Vegetation plot database
Popis Questions: What are the main floristic patterns in European beech forests? Which classification at the alliance and suballiance level is the most convincing? - Location: Europe and Asia Minor. - Methods: We applied a TWINSPAN classification to a data set of 24605 releves covering the whole range of Fagus sylvatica forests and the western part of Fagus orientalis forests. We identified 24 operational phytosociological units' (OPUs), which were used for further analysis. The position of each OPU along the soil pH and temperature gradient was evaluated using Ellenberg Indicator Values. Fidelity of species to OPUs was calculated using the phi coefficient and constancy ratio. We compared alternative alliance concepts, corresponding to groups of OPUs, in terms of number and frequency of diagnostic species. We also established formal definitions for the various alliance concepts based on comparison of the total cover of the diagnostic species groups, and evaluated alternative geographical subdivisions of beech forests. - Results: The first and second division levels of TWINSPAN followed the temperature and soil pH gradients, while lower divisions were mainly geographical. We grouped the 22 OPUs of Fagus sylvatica forests into acidophytic, meso-basiphytic and thermo-basiphytic beech forests, and separated two OPUs of F.orientalis forests. However, a solution with only two ecologically defined alliances of F.sylvatica forests (acidophytic vs basiphytic) was clearly superior with regard to number and frequency of diagnostic species. In contrast, when comparing groupings with three to six geographical alliances of basiphytic beech forests, respectively, we did not find a strongly superior solution. - Conclusions: We propose to classify F.sylvatica forests into 15 suballiances - three acidophytic and 12 basiphytic ones. Separating these two groups at alliance or order level was clearly supported by our results. Concerning the grouping of the 12 basiphytic suballiances into ecological or geographical alliances, as advocated by many authors, we failed to find an optimal solution. Therefore, we propose a multi-dimensional classification of basiphytic beech forests, including both ecological and geographical groups as equally valid concepts which may be used alternatively depending on the purpose and context of the classification.
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