The ecology and phytosociology of north-western Dinaric heaths of the association Rhododendro hirsuti-Juniperetum alpinae Horvat ex Horvat et al. 1974 nom. corr. prop. as well as the syndynamics and synsystematics of heaths in the Dinaric Alps are discussed. While the structure (physiognomy) of these stands is very homogenous and dominated by few species, the flora is heterogeneous, since ecotonal areas, where heaths are most frequently developed, represent a contact zone of elements of different syntaxa. Due to an abrupt reduction in pasture activities strong encroachments of shrubs and trees have become common, which additionally contribute to the floristic heterogeneity of the heaths. Although the identification and circumscription together with synecology and synchorology of heaths in general are more or less easily understood and straightforward, their floristic affinities, in relation to structure homogeneity and syndynamics, are complicated, which led to the proposal of several synsystematic schemes depending on interpretation of the relationship between flora and structure of stands. Dinaric heaths are classified into three classes, Erico-Pinetea, Vaccinio-Piceetea and Festuco-Brometea and a classification scheme is proposed together with nomenclatorial revision of the analyzed heaths with dwarf ericaceous shrubs and Alpine juniper (Juniperus alpina) in the Dinaric Alps
synsystematic re-appraisal. Acta Botanica Croatica 72 (1): 113-132. Surina, B. & Vreš, B. 2004: Fitocenološka oznaka rastišč vrste Heliosperma pusillum (= Silene pusilla, Caryophyllaceae) v mraziščih na Snežniku (JZ Slovenija). Razprave 4. razreda SAZU 45(2): 147-183. Šilc, U. & Čarni, A. 2012: Conspectus of vegetation syntaxa in Slovenia. Hacquetia 11 (1): 113-164. Weber, H. E., Moravec, J. & Theurillat, J. P. 2000: International Code of Phytosociological Nomenclature. 3rd Edition. Journal of Vegetation Science 11 (5): 739-766. Theurillat, J.-P. 2004: Pflanzensoziologisches
Southeastern-Alpine endemic Leontodon hispidus subsp. brumatii (Cichoriaceae) in the Sava valley (central Slovenia)
In the spring and summer of 2010 a number of new localities of the southeastern-Alpine endemic Leontodon hispidus subsp. brumatii were found on temporarily flooded riparian rocks in the gorge of the Sava River between the village of Sava and Zidani Most (central Slovenia). The species has so far been known only in northeastern Italy and western Slovenia (the Soča valley). In order to obtain more specific information its sites were studied phytosociologically and the communities in which it grows in the Sava and the Soča valleys compared. Two new associations were described on the basis of these comparisons: Triseto argentei-Leontodontetum brumatii ass. nov. and Leontodonti brumatii-Seslerietum calcariae ass. nov. As this endemic taxon and its endemic communities are a characteristic of riparian flora and vegetation of some Slovenian mountain rivers and as its localities in the Sava valley are explicitly disjunct and the southeastern-most in the entire known distribution area, they deserve to be studied and protected.
In Europe, the genus Ramonda is represented with three species: Ramonda nathaliae, Ramonda serbica and Ramonda myconi. The first two are endemic Balkan species that are distributed also in Kosovo. These species grow in limestone as well as serpentine substrates, forming chasmophytic vegetation. The species Ramonda nathaliae is found in Macedonia, Greece, Serbia and in two localities in Kosovo, in the Sharri Mountains (Luboten and Gotovushë). R. nathaliae forms the following plant associations in the serpentines of Macedonia: AsplenioRamondetum nathaliae and Scorzonero-Ramondetum nathaliae, and the AchilleoRamondetum nathaliae in limestone substrates. Ostrya carpinifolia is charateristic species in Querco pubescentis-Ostryetum carpinifoliae, Ostryo-Fagetum, Querco-Ostryetum carpinifoliae and Corylo colurnae-Ostryetum carpinifoliae. This paper presents plant communities of Ramonda nathaliae and Ostrya carpinifolia in a limestone habitat, where the proposed new plant association named RamondoOstryetum carpinifoliae ass. nova. is described. This plant community belongs to the class Quercetea pubescentis, order Quercetalia pubescentipetraeae and alliance Fraxino orniOstryion. It was found and described on the limestone substrate on Mt. Luboteni (at 960–982 m a.s.l.).
We conducted a phytosociological analysis of more than 250 relevés in the Julian Alps and compared them with similar communities elsewhere in the Alps and in the Dinaric Alps to describe the following new syntaxa of alpine swards and heathlands from the alliance Caricion firmae (class Elyno-Seslerietea): Saxifrago squarrosae-Caricetum mucronatae, Saussureo pygmaeae-Caricetum rupestris, Seslerio sphaerocephalae-Dryadetum octopetalae, Homogyno discoloris-Vaccinietum gaultherioidis, Saxifrago paniculatae-Caricetum fuliginosae and Homogyno discoloris-Loiseleurietum caricetosum firmae, the new association Achilleo clavennae-Elynetum myosuroidis from the alliance Oxytropido-Elynion and two new syntaxa from the alliance Loiseleurio-Vaccinion (class Loiseleurio-Vaccinietea): Homogyno alpinae-Vaccinietum gaultherioidis and Empetro-Vaccinietum gaultherioidis rhododendretosum hirsuti. Many species that are rare, of conservation concern or protected in Slovenia occur in the newly described communities.
On very steep dolomite slopes in the western foothills of the Kamnik Alps (Ravni hrib, Javorov vrh, Zaplata, Kriška gora) and southwestern Karavanke Mountains (Dobrča) we conducted a phytosociological study into montane grasslands (former hay meadows, partly pastures) where Gladiolus palustris, a species of European conservation concern, also occasionally occurs. They were compared with similar montane grasslands (former hay meadows) on sunny slopes of the Stol ridge above Breginj in the southwestern foothills of the Julian Alps. Based on this comparison we described three new syntaxa: Centaureo julici-Laserpitietum sileris gladioletosum palustris, Festuco amethystinae-Seslerietum calcariae and Pediculari julici-Bromopsietum transsilvanicae. Both new associations are classified into the alliance Caricion austroalpinae and treated as a long-term successional stage in the belt of altimontane beech forests from the association Ranunculo platanifolii-Fagetum.
We conducted a phytosociological study of alpine grasslands with dominant Luzula alpinopilosa in the Julian and Carnic Alps. Based on a comparison with similar communities elsewhere in the Alps we described a new association Junco jacquinii-Luzuletum alpinopilosae, which we classify into the provisional alliance Doronico glacialis-Juncion jacquinii, order Festucetalia spadiceae and class Juncetea trifidi. The new association characterises moist shady grasslands in gullies and on ledges on limestone admixed with marlstone and chert, in the elevation range between 2000 and 2500 m, where the snow cover persists for extended periods. We distinguish three subassociations: -galietosum anisophyllae (the most calcareous form), -potentilletosum aureae (typical form) and -leucanthemopsietosum alpinae (acidophilic form on Werfen sandstones in the Carnic Alps, which is the most similar to the stands of the association Luzuletum alpinopilosae from the Central Alps).
Using the (unweighted) average linkage clustering (UPGMA) method we classified 458 phytosociological relevés of Larix decidua forests in the Southeastern Alps into 25 clusters. Based on their analysis we described the following new subassociations: Rhodothamno-Laricetum deciduae geetosum rivalis, sorbetosum chamaemespili, piceetosum abietis, adoxetosum moschatellinae, cystopteridetosum fragilis, cyclaminetosum purpurascentis, dryadetosum octopetalae and sorbetosum ariae. The selected method proved adequate in identifying the differences between larch stands on potential subalpine spruce and beech sites, and larch forests on the upper forest line, as well as the differences between initial larch stages on the upper forest line and more stable development stages on better developed soils on promontories and ledges above the upper beech forest line. Larch forests occur mainly in the altitudinal belt between (1,500) 1,600 and 1,800 (1,900) m, on shady aspects and slopes that are steeper than 30°. They are some of the best preserved forest types in the Southeastern Alps, on smaller surface areas (Macesnje above the Beli Potok valley in the Julian Alps) even virgin forests, and their role as biotopes is exceptional.
In the alpine belt of the Julian Alps (glacial cirque Na Jezerih under Mt. Veliki Rokav, Jarečica, the Mangart Saddle and Prodi under Mt. Mangart as well as Mt. Plešivec in the rock wall of Loška Stena) we studied the phytosociology and ecology of snow-bed vegetation with dominating flowering plants Salix herbacea, Luzula alpinopilosa, Gnaphalium supinum, Soldanella pusilla and Salix retusa, and numerous moss species. Based on the comparison with similar snow-bed communities in the Central, Eastern and Southern Alps we described a new association Salicetum retuso-herbaceae and classified it into the alliance Salicion herbaceae and class Salicetea herbaceae. We determined several successional stages of snow-bed vegetation on mixed calcareous-silicate bedrock that we treat as variants, in two relevés also the initial association Polytrichetum sexangularis.
We conducted a phytosociological study of the communities hosting the rare and endangered fern Adiantum capillus-veneris in the foothills of the Julian Alps, in Karst and in Istria. Based on a comparison with similar communities elsewhere in the southern Alps (northern Italy) we classified most of the recorded stands into the syntaxa Eucladio-Adiantetum eucladietosum and -cratoneuretosum commutati. Releves from the southern Julian Alps, located in comparatively slightly colder and moister local climate and the dolomite bedrock are classified into the new subassociation -hymenostylietosum recurvirostri subass. nova. Stands with the abundant occurrence of the liverwort Conocephalum conicum, are classified in to the new subassociation -conocephaletosum conici subass. nova. Stands in conglomerate rock shelters along the Soča at Solkan are classified into the new association Phyteumato columnae-Adiantetum ass. nova, a community of transitional character between the classes Adiantetea capilli-veneris and Asplenietea trichomanis.