Open Access

Remarks on Higher-Ranked Syntaxa with Abies Alba in Central Europe: Their Concepts and Nomenclature

   | Dec 22, 2008

Although the issue of classifying Abies alba woodlands has been tackled by many authors, the greatest influence had a trend-setting work of Braun-Blanquet (Braun-Blanquet et al. 1939): he described the suballiance Abieti-Piceenion Br.-Bl. in Br.-Bl et al. 1939. Another important conception was created later by Oberdorfer (1957) who later (1962) differentiated suballiances Galio-Abietenion and Vaccinio-Abietenion. The main difference concerns the syntaxonomical approach to Abies woodlands: according to Braun-Blanquet, the presence (or dominance) of Abies alba is not evaluated separately: montane coniferous forests with the relevant character species are classified into the suballiance Abieti-Piceenion, meant as opposite to the subalpine coniferous forests. By contrast, Oberdorfer treated woodlands with the high abundance/dominance of Abies alba and natural absence of Fagus sylvatica as distinct types of syntaxa and divided further the montane Abies woodlands according to their phytocoenotic differences. These two fundamental conceptions were used alternatively by various authors, and not always in accordance with the original authors' intention. Therefore it is important to draw the attention of phytosociologists to differences resulting from the syntaxonomical concept chosen.

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Life Sciences, Plant Science, Ecology, other