To create a comprehensive, consistent and unequivocal phytosociological classification of European marsh vegetation of the class Phragmito‐Magnocaricetea.
We applied the Cocktail method to a European data set of 249,800 vegetation plots. We identified the main purposes and attributes on which to base the classification, defined assignment rules for vegetation plots, and prepared formal definitions for all the associations, alliances and orders of the class Phragmito‐Magnocaricetea using formal logic. Each formula consists of the combination of “functional species groups”, cover values of individual species, and in the case of high‐rank syntaxa also of “discriminating species groups” created using the Group Improvement (GRIMP) method.
The European Phragmito‐Magnocaricetea vegetation was classified into 92 associations grouped in 11 alliances and six orders. New syntaxa (previously invalidly published according to the International Code of Phytosociological Nomenclature) were introduced: Bolboschoeno maritimi‐Schoenoplection tabernaemontani, Glycerio maximae‐Sietum latifolii, Glycerio notatae‐Veronicetum beccabungae, Schoenoplectetum corymbosi and Thelypterido palustris‐Caricetum elongatae. Based on a critical revision, some other syntaxa were rejected or excluded from the class Phragmito‐Magnocaricetea.
This work provides the first consistent classification of the class Phragmito‐Magnocaricetea at the European scale, which is an important tool for nature conservation. Our classification largely respects previously existing concepts of syntaxa, but it also proposes modifications to the recently published EuroVegChecklist. This work also provides a protocol that can be used for extending the current classification to new syntaxa and geographical regions.
Abstract:The main objective of this study was to examine the relationships between wet meadow plant communities of Molinon alliance and their environmental conditions in Slovenia. The ecology of these communities was analysed in detail. The study provides the data on the vegetation and environmental parameters, the significance of parameters for the plant species composition, most important environmental gradients and differences between plant communities. In all plots the vegetation was recorded and soil parameters were analysed (pH, plant-available P and K, Nt, organic C, C/N ratio, exchangeable Ca 2+ , Mg 2+ , K + , Na + , H + , electrical conductivity, base saturation). Other conditions were also considered (e.g., mean annual temperature and precipitation, humidity index, mean Ellenberg moisture and nutrient value) to test possible correlations as well. Vegetation was classified by means of multivariate cluster analysis, while vegetation-site relationships were examined with direct gradient analysis (CCA). Six associations from the Molinon alliance (Selino-Molinietum, Plantagini altissimae-Molinietum, Carici davallianae-Molinietum, Gentiano-Molinietum litoralis, Junco conglomerati-Betonicetum and Sanguisorbo-Festucetum commutatae) were identified and analysed. Soil reaction was identified as most significant environmental parameter explaining the variation of the studied vegetation. There are several statistically significant differences in site conditions between the communities (pH, moisture, nutrient status, Ca 2+ ). The studied associations represent clearly defined ecological units.
Riparian zones support high biodiversity and are among the most vulnerable parts of the landscape. Their degradation facilitates the spread of invasive alien plant species. Our aim was to investigate the relationship between environmental characteristics of riparian zones and distribution and abundance of invasive alien plant taxa (IAT) along three rivers in Slovenia. In 100-m reaches of riparian zone we determined environmental characteristics and the presence and abundance of IAT. Canonical correspondence analysis was used to assess the relationship between IAT and environmental factors. The numbers and abundances of IAT in specific reaches were correlated with environmental factors using Spearman coefficient. These results revealed that the number and abundance of IAT in riparian zone were strongly positively correlated to the distance from river source, while they were negatively correlated with altitude, vegetation structure complexity, completeness of riparian zone and current velocity. Environmental factors that explained the distribution and abundance of IAT significantly were: the altitude, flow dynamics, distance from source, width of riparian zone, land-use, bank and channel structure, water depth and velocity. The research has pointed out the need for proper management of riparian zones to prevent invasion by IAT and also to strengthen other services provided by riparian zone as buffering anthropogenic impacts to water body, stabilising bank structure and increasing biodiversity.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
We investigated the presence and abundance of invasive alien plant species (IAS) in the riparian zones of rivers in relation to different environmental parameters. We surveyed the spatial and human-influenced characteristics of the riparian zones, river channels, and land use along seven Slovenian rivers. We further monitored the presence and abundance of IAS with different natural properties and different human impacts to define the characteristics of non-infected and heavily infected reaches. Special attention was given to different life forms of IAS. The presence and abundance of IAS positively correlated with distance from river source, current velocity, and water depth, and negatively correlated with altitude, naturalness of the land use, width and completeness of the riparian zone, height and structure of its vegetation, and condition of the riverbed and banks. Annuals prevailed among IAS at 48%, with 37% herbaceous perennials and 15% woody species. The vine Echinocystis lobata was the most abundant IAS, which was found in 179 out of the 414 river reaches analysed, followed by the annual Impatiens glandulifera and the herbaceous perennial Solidago gigantea. E. lobata was spread over the native riparian vegetation and was affected by the natural gradients of the rivers in terms of altitude and distance from the river’s source. Reaches without IAS significantly differed from reaches colonised with IAS in the width of riparian zone, vegetation height and structure, land-use next to the river, and distance from the source. As IAS in riparian zones affect riparian and aquatic communities, there is the need for management practices to maintain and establish complex riparian zones that are resistant to IAS colonisation.
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