Preslia
The Journal of the Czech Botanical Society

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Willner W., Roleček J., Korolyuk A., Dengler J., Chytrý M., Janišová M., Lengyel A., Aćić S., Becker T., Ćuk M., Demina O., Jandt U., Kącki Z., Kuzemko A., Kropf M., Lebedeva M., Semenishchenkov Y., Šilc U., Stančić Z., Staudinger M., Vassilev K. & Yamalov S.

Formalized classification of semi-dry grasslands in central and eastern Europe

Preslia 91: 25–49, 2019. ‌ ‌ Article published online: 11 Jan 2019. ‌ ‌ DOI: 10.23855/preslia.2019.025

Open Access PDFElectronic appendix
 

Abstract

European semi-dry grasslands are among the most species-rich vegetation types in the northern hemisphere and form an important part of the habitat mosaics in the forest-steppe zone. However, there is no comprehensive evaluation of the variation in their composition and the phytosociological classification of these grasslands. For the syntaxonomic revision, we used a dataset of 34,173 vegetation plot records (relevés) from central and eastern Europe, which were assigned to the class Festuco-Brometea using the diagnostic species listed in the EuroVegChecklist. To determine the diagnostic species of the orders, we used a TWINSPAN classification of the whole dataset. Of the total dataset, 15, 449 relevés were assigned to the order Brachypodietalia pinnati, which corresponds to semi-dry grasslands. This subset was again classified using TWINSPAN. Formal definitions of the following alliances were established: Mesobromion erecti, Cirsio-Brachypodion pinnati (incl. Fragario-Trifolion montani, Agrostio-Avenulion schellianae, Scabioso ochroleucae-Poion angustifoliae and Adonido vernalis-Stipion tirsae), Scorzonerion villosae and Chrysopogono-Danthonion. Another alliance, Armerion elongatae (= Koelerio-Phleion phleoidis p.p.), is transitional towards the class Koelerio-Corynephoretea and its status needs further evaluation. We also established formal definitions of all of the associations of Mesobromion and Cirsio-Brachypodion within the area studied. Associations were identified using (i) a TWINSPAN classification of the whole order, (ii) TWINSPAN classifications of regionally restricted data sets (usually all Brachypodietalia plots in one country) and (iii) existing national classification schemes. All formal definitions were written in the expert system language of the JUICE program. To obtain a more complete picture of the floristic similarities and gradients, we performed a DCA ordination of the associations. Our results revealed that meadow steppes in the forest-steppe zone in eastern Europe are very similar to semi-dry grasslands in central Europe.

Keywords: Brachypodietalia pinnati, Cirsio-Brachypodion, Festuco-Brometea, meadow steppe, Mesobromion, semi-dry grassland, syntaxonomy, vegetation classification

Full citation: Willner W., Roleček J., Korolyuk A., Dengler J., Chytrý M., Janišová M., Lengyel A., Aćić S., Becker T., Ćuk M., Demina O., Jandt U., Kącki Z., Kuzemko A., Kropf M., Lebedeva M., Semenishchenkov Y., Šilc U., Stančić Z., Staudinger M., Vassilev K. & Yamalov S. (2019): Formalized classification of semi-dry grasslands in central and eastern Europe. – Preslia 91: 25–49.


 

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