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Dry Grasslands in the Slovenský Kras MTS (Slovakia) and the Aggteleki-karszt MTS (Hungary) — A Comparison of Two Classification Approaches

Dry Grasslands in the Slovenský Kras MTS (Slovakia) and the Aggteleki-karszt MTS (Hungary) — A Comparison of Two Classification Approaches

The paper brings numerical classification of 48 new phytosociological relevés of dry grassland vegetation from the Slovenský kras Mts and the Aggteleki-karszt Mts located on the border between Slovakia and Hungary (Central Europe). We performed a comparison of two classification approaches (an unsupervised method - modified TWINSPAN, and a supervised approach - electronic expert system based on formal definitions of associations), which were applied on the same dataset. Four associations were distinguished: Campanulo divergentiformis-Festucetum pallentis Zólyomi (1936) 1966, Poo badensis-Caricetum humilis (Dostál 1933) Soó ex Michálková in Janišová et al. 2007, Alysso heterophylli-Festucetum valesiacae (Dostál 1933) Kliment in Kliment et al. 2000 and Festuco rupicolae-Caricetum humilis Klika 1939. A newly recorded stand of the rare Stipetum tirsae Meusel 1938 association is characterised. What is more, we established a neotype of the Alysso heterophylli-Festucetum valesiacae association.

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Management Regimes within Syntaxa of Semi-Natural Grasslands in West Bulgaria

Abstract

This study focuses on mesic and xeric grasslands of mostly secondary origin, and that are influenced by human activity. Mesic grasslands are traditionally used for hay-making, and xeric ones for pastures. Over the last 20 years, livestock farming in Bulgaria has significantly declined so that less grass is needed. Many types of grasslands are no longer used and lots of abandoned fields can be found nowadays in Bulgaria. The analyses in this study are based on 868 releves collected on xeric and mesic grasslands according to the methodological approach of Braun- Blanquet. As a result, five alliances within two classes are recognized: the class Festuco-Brometea, represented by three alliances, namely Cirsio-Brachypodion pinnati, Chrysopogono-Danthonion calycinae and Festucion valesiacae, and the class Molinio-Arrhenatheretea, represented by two alliances, namely Arrhenatherion elatioris and Cynosurion cristati. The majority of the managed grasslands are situated in close proximity to settlements. Most of the abandoned areas (30%) are found within Cirsio-Brachypodion alliance. These grasslands are characterized by the highest values of total cover of vegetation. They are located in the most distant and least accessible areas. If use is not resumed, all the abandoned grasslands will be under threat of extinction in the near future. At the same time, many arable lands have been abandoned and turned into grasslands by the processes of secondary succession.

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The Tall-Herb and Tall-Grass Plant Communities of the Class Mulgedio-Aconitetea in the Subalpine Belt of the Krivánska Malá Fatra MTS (Slovakia)

The Tall-Herb and Tall-Grass Plant Communities of the Class Mulgedio-Aconitetea in the Subalpine Belt of the Krivánska Malá Fatra MTS (Slovakia)

The following paper reports the results of phytosociological research of tall-herb and tall-herb plant communities within the class Mulgedio-Aconitetea in the subalpine belt of the Krivánska Malá Fatra Mts. The data set of 209 relevés was sampled and analysed using numerical classification and ordination. Major ecological gradients were interpreted using Ellenberg's indicator values and the Shannon-Wiener diversity index. Ten associations within five alliances were distinguished and characterised: Aconitetum firmi, Digitali ambiguae-Calamagrostietum arundinaceae, Helianthemo grandiflorae-Calamagrostietum arundinaceae, Potentillo aurei-Calamagrostietum arundinaceae, Allio victorialis-Calamagrostietum villosae, Festucetum carpaticae, Adenostylo alliariae-Athyrietum alpestris, Aconito firmi-Adenostyletum alliariae, Geranio robertiani-Delphinietum elati and Aconito firmi-Rumicetum alpini. Relationships between the floristic composition of the communities and environmental variables were analysed by canonical correspondence analysis.

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Numerical Evaluation of Grasslands Dominated by Sesleria Juncifolia Agg. in Serbia

Abstract

Phytosociological and numerical analyses of grasslands dominated by Sesleria juncifolia s.l. in Serbia were performed in order to resolve their syntaxonomy and nomenclature. Twelve releves were sampled on Mt. Mučanj (western Serbia), which were then compared with similar releves from other parts of the Balkan Peninsula by means of numerical analyses. The releves were classified using cluster analysis, while the ordination was conducted using Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA). The results suggest the occurrence of two floristically well defined Dinaric associations in Serbia: Seslerio juncifoliae-Edraianthetum graminifolii ass. nova from Mt. Mokra Gora (Oxytropidion urumovii, Elyno-Seslerietea) and Diantho petraeae-Seslerietum juncifoliae ass. nova (Chrysopogono-Saturejion, Festuco-Brometea) from Mt. Mučanj.

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Wall Vegetation in Old Royal Mining Towns in Central Slovakia

Abstract

During May, 2013, the vegetation on city walls has been studied in five old royal mining towns of Central Slovakia (Banská Belá, Banská Štiavnica, Kremnica, Nová Baňa, and Pukanec). In the four last-named towns, phytocoenological material was recorded according to the Braun-Blanquet method, providing 41 relevés. Analysis of data (Twinspan , DCA) grouped the relevés into four clusters: ass. Cymbalarietum muralis, Corydalidetum luteae, Asplenietum rutae-murarie-trichomanis, and the most hemerobic community dominated by Chelidonium majus. All communities are generally rather heterogeneous, with a large range of number of species and with frequent participation of accessory plants. In the observed localities, 22 epilithic mosses and 2 liverworts were recorded: the most common species appears Encalypta streptocarpa, Homalothecium sericeum, Tortula muralis, Hypnum cupressiforme, Schistidium apocarpum agg., and Bryum caespiticium.

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The Alliances Arrhenatherion, Cynosurion and Trifolion Medii in Western Bulgaria - Environmental Gradients and Ecological Limitations

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.

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

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).

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

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.

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Steppe-Like Grass Land Vegetation in the Hills around the Lakes of Vegoritida and Petron, North-Central Greece

Abstract

The present paper describes the floristic composition and synecology of steppe-like dry grasslands occurring in a Natura 2000 site in North-Central Greece around the two karstic lakes of Vegoritida and Petron. In total, 245 releves of vascular plant species composition and abundance were sampled and subjected to cluster analysis and ordination analysis. Passive explanatory variables, including environmental parameters as well as indicator values, were used to support the ecological interpretation. Four plant communities were distinguished in the area, namely Artemisia campestris-Dasypyrum villosum, Chrysopogon gryllus-Bothriochloa ischaemum, Satureja montana-Artemisia alba and Stipa capillata-Koeleria macrantha. All communities were classified within the Festuco-Brometea class and the Astragalo-Potentilletalia order. Soil properties (soil reaction, moisture and nutrient content) and meso-climate factors (temperature variation along topographic gradients) were identified as the main factors determining the floristic differentiation among the four communities.

The dry grasslands harbor a number of species associated with steppic habitats. We discuss the relict character of the steppe-like vegetation.

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Arunco-Salicetum Capreae – Where Is Its Syntaxonomical Position?

Abstract

Presented study is focused on the syntaxonomical revision and correct classification of the associations Arunco- Salicetum capreae and Filipendulo-Salicetum capreae. The associations were described by Hadač et al. (1969) from the Dolina Siedmich prameňov Valley in the Belianske Tatry Mts. The association Arunco-Salicetum capreae was emended by Šomšák (1986) by including the new subassociation from the Slovenské rudohorie Mts. Hadač et al. (1969) and Šomšák (1986) preliminarily ordered these associations within the class Querco-Fagetea, order Fagetalia, and alliance Alnion incanae. Later authors (Mucina & Maglocký 1985, Jarolímek & Šibík 2008) ordered them into two different classes. We used numerical analyses (hierarchical clustering and detrended correspondence analysis) of 1056 relevés from floristically and ecologically similar syntaxonomical units to classify the associations within higher syntaxa and to find out whether there is a reason to distinguish two associations from such a small geographic area. Based on the analysis results we merged both studied associations into one association Arunco vulgaris-Salicetum capreae Hadač et al. ex Petrášová et Jarolímek, ass. nova, which we ordered to the suballiance Alnenion glutinoso-incanae.

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