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Michal Slezák and Anna Petrášová

Oak forest vegetation in the northern part of the Štiavnické vrchy Mts (Central Slovakia)

The phytosociological research of the oak forest vegetation was carried out in the northern part of the Štiavnické vrchy Mts (Central Slovakia) using the standard Zürich-Montpellier approach. The data set consisting of 41 phytosociological relevés was obtained by the authors in two vegetation seasons in 2008 and 2009. The numerical classification and the ordination methods were applied to determine the main vegetation types and to explain the structure of the vegetation-environmental data matrix, respectively. Four associations within two classes were distinguished: Luzulo albidae-Quercetum petraeae Hilitzer 1932, typical for shallow, mineral-poor and acidic soils, Melico uniflorae-Quercetum petraeae Gergely 1962 occuring on mesic stands with skeletal and deeper soils, Poo nemoralis-Quercetum dalechampii Šomšák et Háberová 1979 developing on moderately canopyopened stands in the submontane belt, Sorbo torminalis-Quercetum Svoboda ex Blažková 1962 growing on moderately acidic substrates in drier regions. The major environmental gradients responsible for variation in forest species composition was associated with soil nutrient and soil reaction following the Ellenberg indicator values as well as the measured environmental variables (C/N-ratio and soil acidity). Special attention was given to the discussion on species composition and site ecology.

Open access

Michal Slezák, Richard Hrivnák and Anna Petrášová

Syntaxonomy and Ecology of Black Alder Vegetation in the Southern Part of Central Slovakia

The study presents phytosociological and ecological data from azonal black alder forest sites in the southern part of central Slovakia. A data set of 29 relevés was collected by authors in vegetation season 2010 following the standard Braun-Blanquet approach. Numerical classification was performed to delimit the main vegetation types, while statistical analyses were applied to explain the vegetation-environmental relationships. Three associations within two classes were distinguished using a TWINSPAN algorithm. Carici elongatae-Alnetum glutinosae Schwickerath 1933 is an alder carr forest occurring on waterlogged soils in spring fed areas and alluvial zones along rivers. Carici acutiformis-Alnetum glutinosae Scamoni 1933 represents an alder carr forest on habitats with stagnant or slowly flowing water along water courses and artificial water reservoirs. Mesic to humid stands along small brooks are typical for the riparian alder vegetation of Stellario-Alnetum glutinosae Lohmeyer 1957. A detailed description of the floristic and ecological features of these associations is presented. The major environmental gradients affecting variation in species composition of these communities were interpreted as a response of vegetation to soil moisture and nutrient availability regarding the Ellenberg indicator values (moisture and nutrients) and measured variables (total N and C).

Open access

Jana Májeková, Dominik Roman Letz, Michal Slezák, Marica Zaliberová and Richard Hrivnák


The paper presents data on the occurrence and secondary spreading of rare and threatened vascular plant species in railway habitats of Slovakia. We recorded 17 threatened vascular plant species and other 9 species that we considered to be rare in Slovakia. They grew at railway stations, mainly directly in the rail yard and also at the platforms or other similar facilities. Records of further 39 species were excerpted from literature sources. More native thermophilous species were represented among the recorded species as railway substrates provide suitable conditions for their growth. Also some archaeophytic segetal species were found quite frequent in the studied biotopes due to spreading of their seeds together with cereals transported by trains. Various habitats of railway transport facilities often provide suitable conditions for the secondary occurrence and further spreading not only of synanthropic or adventive, but also of rare and threatened plant species.

Open access

Richard Hrivnák, Jaroslav Košťál, Michal Slezák, Anna Petrášová and Melánia Feszterová


In some regions of Slovakia, black alder forest vegetation has not been documented appropriately yet. This paper is the first vegetation study presenting the phytosociological data and measured environmental parameters from the western part of central Slovakia. The data set was classified by using a modified TWINSPAN algorithm, which allowed us to discern floristically and ecologically distinctive plant communities. They correspond to the associations Stellario nemorum-Alnetum glutinosae Lohmeyer 1957 (riparian alder vegetation on mesic to humid sites along small brooks) and Carici acutiformis-Alnetum glutinosae Scamoni 1935 (eutrophic black alder carr forests in the colline zone) with the variants of Ligustrum vulgare and Galium palustre. The community Carici elongatae-Alnetum glutinosae Schwickerath 1933 (mesotrophic to eutrophic alder carr vegetation growing on permanently waterlogged soils), documented only with two phytosociological relevés, was distinguished following expert knowledge. A floristic and ecological pattern of these associations is presented.

The major compositional gradients were interpreted based on Ellenberg’s indicator values and the values of environmental variables recorded during the field sampling in the growing season 2011. The principal component analysis revealed the importance of soil moisture, light availability, portion of open water and soil surface for species composition variability at the association level, whereas the variants of Carici acutiformis-Alnetum glutinosae were sorted along the acidity gradient.