A Review of Potentillo Ternatae — Nardion Strictae Alliance
A classification of the Nardus stricta dominated communities in the Balkan Range is presented. Two associations are identified: Nardetum strictae and Campanulo alpinae — Nardetum strictae nom. nov. The alliance Potentillo ternatae — Nardion strictae is typified and some comments on its distribution range and syntaxonomical affiliation to the higher units are presented. A synopsis is included of all available associations referred to Potentillo ternatae — Nardion strictae.
The Association Erysimo - Trifolietum Micev. 1977 in Bulgaria and Some Remarks on its Mediterranean Character
We endeavor to enlarge the knowledge about Bulgarian vegetation diversity. Data on seminatural grasslands containing 344 relevés, collected in Southeast Bulgaria were analyzed by the combine method, using TWIN-SPAN and the Cocktail method. The Erysimo diffusii-Trifolietum angustifolii association and the alliance Trifolion cherleri were established for the first time in Bulgaria. So far the presence of this association was known for Macedonia. The aims of our study are to present more data about the Erysimo-Trifolietum in Bulgaria and to make some comments about its affiliation to Helianthemetea guttati. The association is characterized ecologically and floristically. Analysis of the floristic elements shows that the most numerous are sub-Mediterranean species. Analysis of the life forms shows that these communities are hemicryptophyte-therophytic. A review of syntaxonomical systems and association assignment to higher syntaxa were made. According to current European vege-tation surveys the association should be related to class Helianthemetea guttati. Our results reveal an intermediate character of the studied vegetation - closed dry grasslands, with distinct presence of Festuco-Brometea species with a high percent of therophytes and Mediterranean floristic elements related to Helianthemetea guttati as well.
The geographic position of Bulgaria results in a variety of climatic and biogeographic influences on the country’s vegetation. We aim to describe the plant diversity of dry grasslands distributed in the transitional belt between the south-eastern European and Mediterranean biogeographic regions in SE Bulgaria, and to reveal if there are any obvious differences in soil properties, presence of life forms and chorotypes between syntaxa. The data set consists of 349 releves of vascular plants and bryophytes sampled in different semi-natural herbaceous vegetation types. By applying TWINSPAN, we classified 176 releves of dry grasslands to eight associations and one unranked community. One association and two subassociations are described here for the first time. Data on soil depth, soil moisture, soil pH, humus and total N content, numbers of different life forms and chorotypes were analysed statistically. The dry grasslands in SE Bulgaria were classified into different vegetation classes sharing the same territory: their communities present similarities in species composition and they have similar ratios of hemicryptophytes/therophytes and Euro-Asiatic/Mediterranean species. Dry grassland vegetation occupies mostly shallow and dry soils that vary slightly in pH, humus content and soil moisture between associations.
Nikolay Velev, Iva Apostolova, Zuzana Rozbrojová and Petra Hájková
The Alliances Arrhenatherion, Cynosurion and Trifolion Medii in Western Bulgaria - Environmental Gradients and Ecological Limitations
The vegetation of mesic grasslands distributed in the central part of Western Bulgaria is studied. A significant number of 533 relevés were made following the Braun-Blanquet approach. Classification and ordination of the vegetation was performed. The vegetation is classified up to alliance level. The result of the classification are four groups which correspond to the alliances Arrhenatherion elatioris, Cynosurion cristati and Trifolion medii. Within Cynosurion alliance two well distinct subgroups are observed, differing in moisture of the substrate - provisionally called "wet" and "dry" Cynosurion. Ellenberg Indicator Values are used for assessment of ecology of the habitats. The pasture/mowing management of the studied vegetation types is commented.
Vassilev Kiril, Apostolova Iva and Pedashenko Hristo
A total of 546 releves collected in western Bulgaria and referred to Festuco-Brometea were classified into the alliances Festucion valesiacae, Saturejion montanae, Cirsio-Brachypodion pinnati and Chrysopogono-Danthonion calycinae. All releves assigned to alliance Cirsio-Brachypodion pinnati were further classified towards lower level which resulted in the description of a new association - Hieracio pilosellae-Festucetum dalmaticae and two new subassociations added to ass. Galio lovcense-Artemisietum chamaemelifoliae. Both associations were ecologically well differentiated on the basis of soil parameters (pH and humus content) as well as some additional factors (exposition, land use, etc.).
Iva Apostolova, Jürgen Dengler, Romeo Di Pietro, Rosario G Gavilán and Ioannis Tsiripidis
The Mediterranean area is a natural biodiversity hotspot that has also been influenced by humans for millennia. Especially the grasslands of Southern Europe have long been known for their diversity and beauty. However, several gaps remain in our knowledge about these grasslands, e.g. for some regions such as the southern Balkans, or taxonomic groups such as cryptogams. Here we introduce a Special Issue with contributions from the 9th European Dry Grassland Group meeting held in Prespa, Greece, 2012. The topic of this meeting was “Dry grasslands of Europe: grazing and ecosystem services” with special focus on Southern European regions. The Special Issue, apart from this Editorial, consists of eight contributions arranged according to the three major topics: syntaxonomy (5 articles), management (2) and conservation (1). The classification papers include descriptions of four new associations and four subassociations. Data about management practices are provided as well. We conclude that dry grassland vegetation in Southern Europe exhibits transitions between different higher syntaxa and thus requires further studies at broader scales to allow better understanding at the supranational scale.
Balázs Deák, Csaba Albert Tóth, Ádám Bede, Iva Apostolova, Tatyana M. Bragina, Ferenc Báthori and Miklós Bán
Eurasian steppes have an essential role in conserving biodiversity, but due to the huge habitat loss in the past centuries they are often preserved only in small refuges. Among such refuges are the ancient steppic burial mounds (the so called ‘kurgans’) which have a high cultural and historical importance and are also essential sites of nature conservation. Despite their high number (approximately half million) and conservational importance there is a huge lack of knowledge on the locality and conservational state of the kurgans in most regions of Eurasia. To fill this knowledge gap, we built a public database which allows to record and query basic information on their cultural values and factors (such as land cover type, threatening factors, cover of woody species) that might serve as a basis for their effective conservation. The database provides a transparent, public and easy-to-use source for conservation managers and landscape planners focussed on grassland conservation. In addition, it also provides background information for other associate disciplines and public agencies dealing with the protection of cultural heritage.