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Volume 13 (2014): Issue 1 (June 2014)

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Volume 12 (2013): Issue 1 (June 2013)

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Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
1854-9829
First Published
10 Jul 2007
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English

Search

Volume 13 (2014): Issue 1 (June 2014)

Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
1854-9829
First Published
10 Jul 2007
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English

Search

9 Articles
Open Access

Dry Grasslands of Southern Europe: Syntaxonomy, Management and Conservation

Published Online: 17 Jun 2014
Page range: 1 - 14

Abstract

Abstract

The Mediterranean area is a natural biodiversity hotspot that has also been influenced by humans for millennia. Especially the grasslands of Southern Europe have long been known for their diversity and beauty. However, several gaps remain in our knowledge about these grasslands, e.g. for some regions such as the southern Balkans, or taxonomic groups such as cryptogams. Here we introduce a Special Issue with contributions from the 9th European Dry Grassland Group meeting held in Prespa, Greece, 2012. The topic of this meeting was “Dry grasslands of Europe: grazing and ecosystem services” with special focus on Southern European regions. The Special Issue, apart from this Editorial, consists of eight contributions arranged according to the three major topics: syntaxonomy (5 articles), management (2) and conservation (1). The classification papers include descriptions of four new associations and four subassociations. Data about management practices are provided as well. We conclude that dry grassland vegetation in Southern Europe exhibits transitions between different higher syntaxa and thus requires further studies at broader scales to allow better understanding at the supranational scale.

Keywords

  • Elyno-Seslerietea
  • European Dry Grassland Group (EDGG)
  • Festuco-Brometea
  • grazing
  • Helianthemetea guttati
  • Koelerio-Corynephoretea
  • Mediterranean
  • Molinio-Arrhenatheretea.

Ključne besede

  • Elyno-Seslerietea
  • Evropska skupina za suha travišča (EDGG)
  • Festuco-Brometea
  • paša
  • Helianthemetea guttati
  • Koelerio-Corynephoretea
  • Mediteran
  • Molinio-Arrhenatheretea
Open Access

The Festuco-Brometea Grasslands on Sandstone and Marl-Clay-Sandstone Substrata in Tuscany (Northern-Central Italy)

Published Online: 17 Jun 2014
Page range: 19 - 54

Abstract

Abstract

The grasslands dominated by Bromus erectus and/or Brachypodium rupestre cover large areas on sandstone and marl-clay-sandstone substrata (limestone is excluded), of the Apennines and pre-Apennines between Pistoia and Arezzo provinces (Tuscany, Central Italy). Our investigation was focused on to 71 unpublished releves and 45 literature releves from Tuscany and surrounding areas, reporting the original releves of Astragalo monspessulani-Brometum erecti, Centaureo bracteatae-Brometum erecti and Ononido masquillerii-Brometum erecti. The releves were submitted to exploratory multivariate analysis, allowing to detect nine distinct groups. Their consistence was verified by mean of NMDS against Ellenberg/Pignatti indicator values, and CCA constrained against chorotypes and growth forms. Diagnostic species of the definitive groups resulting from the analysis were chosen according to species fidelity, based on the φ coefficient of association. The analysis splits the data set in two main subclusters; the first one (A) includes few releves of low altitude, thermophilous conenoses, interpreted as a transition between the submediterranean aspects of Festuco-Brometea class and other Mediterranean herbaceous and shrubby classes; the second subcluster (B) includes most of the data set and can be clearly subdivided in pioneering, mesoxerophilous communities (B1 and B2a groups) and mesophilous communities (B2b group). The releves of clusters B1 and B2a are referred to Coronillo minimae-Astragaletum monspessulanii association and to three other groups: Plantago argentea-Carex caryophyllea communities, Tragopogon samaritani-Bromus erectus communities, Festuco trachyphyllae-Brometum erecti ass. nova. The mesophilous group (B2b) includes the original Centaureo bracteatae-Brometum erecti and Ononido masquillerii-Brometum erecti releves, together with a slightly differentiated community; due to the non-relevant differences between these grassland types from floristic, ecological and chorological perspectives, we propose herewith to treat them as three subassociations of Centaureo bracteatae-Brometum erecti (typicum, ononidetosum masquillerii and linetosum cathartici). Post-cultural grasslands in human-disturbed areas were also detected. All these communities can be attributed to Polygalo mediterraneae-Bromenion erecti suballiance (Bromion alliance), even if a clear subdivision between the mesoxerophilous pioneer aspects and the more mesophilous and evolved ones can be noted.

Keywords

  • Bromion erecti
  • Ellenberg Indicator Values
  • grasslands
  • multivariate analysis
  • Northern Apennines
  • phytosociology
  • syntaxonomy.

Ključne besede

  • Bromion erecti
  • Ellenbergove indikatorske vrednosti
  • travišča
  • multivariatna analiza
  • severni Apenini
  • fitosociologija
  • sintaksonomija.
Open Access

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

Published Online: 17 Jun 2014
Page range: 57 - 77

Abstract

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.

Keywords

  • Balkan Peninsula
  • classification
  • ordination
  • Seslerietum juncifoliae s.l.
  • syntaxonomy
  • vegetation

Ključne besede

  • Balkanski polotok
  • klasifikacija
  • ordinacija
  • Seslerietum juncifoliae s.l.
  • sintaksonomija
  • vegetacija
Open Access

Dry Grassland Vegetation in the Transition Zone Between two Biogeographic Regions

Published Online: 17 Jun 2014
Page range: 79 - 120

Abstract

Abstract

The geographic position of Bulgaria results in a variety of climatic and biogeographic influences on the country’s vegetation. We aim to describe the plant diversity of dry grasslands distributed in the transitional belt between the south-eastern European and Mediterranean biogeographic regions in SE Bulgaria, and to reveal if there are any obvious differences in soil properties, presence of life forms and chorotypes between syntaxa. The data set consists of 349 releves of vascular plants and bryophytes sampled in different semi-natural herbaceous vegetation types. By applying TWINSPAN, we classified 176 releves of dry grasslands to eight associations and one unranked community. One association and two subassociations are described here for the first time. Data on soil depth, soil moisture, soil pH, humus and total N content, numbers of different life forms and chorotypes were analysed statistically. The dry grasslands in SE Bulgaria were classified into different vegetation classes sharing the same territory: their communities present similarities in species composition and they have similar ratios of hemicryptophytes/therophytes and Euro-Asiatic/Mediterranean species. Dry grassland vegetation occupies mostly shallow and dry soils that vary slightly in pH, humus content and soil moisture between associations.

Keywords

  • Bulgaria
  • Festuco-Brometea
  • Helianthemetea guttati
  • Koelerio-Corynephoretea

Ključne besede

  • Bolgarija
  • Festuco-Brometea
  • Helianthemetea guttati
  • Koelerio-Corynephoretea
Open Access

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

Published Online: 17 Jun 2014
Page range: 121 - 169

Abstract

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.

Keywords

  • Astragalo-Potentilletalia
  • dry calcareous grasslands
  • Festuco-Brometea
  • steppe plants
  • syntaxonomy
  • vegetation classification

Ključne besede

  • Astragalo-Potentilletalia
  • suha travišča na apnencu
  • Festuco-Brometea
  • stepske rastline
  • sintaksonomija
  • klasifikacija vegetacije
Open Access

Dry Grassland Types in the Prespa National Park (Nw Greece), Including the Southernmost Occurrence of the Priority Habitat Type “Pannonic Sand Steppes” (Code 6260)

Published Online: 17 Jun 2014
Page range: 171 - 189

Abstract

Abstract

A recently completed project on the Natura 2000 sites of Prespa National Park revealed that the area hosts 49 habitat types according to the EU classification, of which eight have a narrowly restricted distribution in Greece. The priority habitat type “*6260 Pannonic sand steppes” is reported here for the first time for Greece. The new locality represents its southernmost occurrence on the Balkan Peninsula. The aim of this paper therefore is to describe the Greek stands of this habitat type, investigate the factors affecting its occurrence and discuss the associated conservation issues. This is based on a total of 87 releves sampled for this study and 8 additional releves from the literature. The releves were classified by applying TWINSPAN and ordinated using Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA). Six vegetation units could be distinguished. One of these corresponds to the habitat type *6260 and was found exclusively on inland sand dunes. Syntaxonomically, we assigned this unit to the alliance Sileno conicae-Cerastion semidecandri s.l. of the class Koelerio-Corynephoretea. Its occurrence in the study area seems to be determined by climatic factors, as well as by the sandy substrate, while anthropogenic disturbances such as grazing also appear to be beneficial to some degree. Apart from the Koelerio-Corynephoretea, another five grassland classes were distinguished in the national park, namely the Thero-Brachypodietea, Stellarietea mediae, Festuco-Brometea, Daphno-Festucetea and Juncetea trifidi.

Keywords

  • Habitats Directive
  • Koelerio-Corynephoretea
  • phytosociology
  • Sileno conicae-Cerastion semidecandri
  • syntaxonomy.

Ključne besede

  • Habitatna direktiva
  • Koelerio-Corynephoretea
  • fitosociologija
  • Sileno conicae-Cerastion semidecandri
  • sintaksonomija
Open Access

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

Published Online: 17 Jun 2014
Page range: 191 - 204

Abstract

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.

Keywords

  • classification
  • grazing
  • mowing
  • ordination
  • species diversity
  • syntaxonomy
  • vegetation.

Ključne besede

  • klasifikacija
  • paša
  • košnja
  • ordinacija
  • vrstna pestrost
  • sintaksonomija
  • vegetacija
Open Access

Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Sheep and Goats Grazing in Different Forage Resources of Northern Greece

Published Online: 17 Jun 2014
Page range: 205 - 213

Abstract

Abstract

Grazing animals explore different forage resources to satisfy their daily nutrient needs, following specific spatial and temporal patterns throughout the year. In this study four different flocks of sheep and goats (two of each species) were selected to record their spatial location with a handheld GPS during spring, summer and winter. At the same time, three animals in each flock were followed to study their grazing activities by direct observation. These data with the time information and a detailed land use map were manipulated in a GIS to assign animal activities to different forage resources. Sheep and goats were travelling long distances (7.5 km and 9.0 km, respectively) to satisfy their nutritional needs throughout the year. They were found to graze in two main forage resources, rangelands (grasslands, shrublands and forest ranges) and agricultural land (fallow land, stubble fields and temporary pastures). Both grazer species spent significantly less time (P≤ 0.05) feeding in rangelands (38.9% & 18.1%) than in agricultural land (63.6% & 53.4%) during spring and summer. It appears that a heterogeneous landscape is necessary for supporting extensive farming systems of small ruminants since rangelands and agricultural land complement each other in providing forage throughout the year.

Keywords

  • Flocks
  • GIS
  • GPS
  • grazing activities
  • rangelands
  • small ruminants

Ključne besede

  • čreda
  • GIS
  • GPS
  • paša
  • pašniki
  • drobnica
Open Access

Fundamental Basis for the Conservation of Biodiversity of the Black Sea-Kazak H Steppes

Published Online: 17 Jun 2014
Page range: 215 - 228

Abstract

Abstract

The paper presents new approaches for assessing the conservation value of plant communities based on the use of quantitative criteria contained in databases and eco-floristic classification of steppe vegetation in the Don basin (Rostov region). The Black Sea and Kazakhstan steppes have significant potential for environmental protection. Analysis of biodiversity levels has been facilitated by descriptions of plant communities and quantitative indicators of major faunal groups of soil invertebrates (macrofauna) in the Tobol-Turgai basin (Kostanay region, Kazakhstan). As the structure of soil invertebrate communities is closely associated with vegetation, its assessment can provide insight into the degree of preservation or the depth of disturbance of ecosystems such as those found in the Black Sea and Kazakhstan steppes.

Keywords

  • ecological network
  • Festucetea vaginatae
  • Festuco-Brometea
  • Festuco-Puccinellietea
  • Helianthemo-Thymetea
  • phytocenotic diversity
  • plant community
  • soil macrofauna.

Ključne besede

  • ekološka mreža
  • Festucetea vaginatae
  • Festuco-Brometea
  • Festuco-Puccinellietea
  • Helianthemo-Thy-metea
  • fitocenološka diverziteta
  • rastlinska združba
  • talna makrofavna
9 Articles
Open Access

Dry Grasslands of Southern Europe: Syntaxonomy, Management and Conservation

Published Online: 17 Jun 2014
Page range: 1 - 14

Abstract

Abstract

The Mediterranean area is a natural biodiversity hotspot that has also been influenced by humans for millennia. Especially the grasslands of Southern Europe have long been known for their diversity and beauty. However, several gaps remain in our knowledge about these grasslands, e.g. for some regions such as the southern Balkans, or taxonomic groups such as cryptogams. Here we introduce a Special Issue with contributions from the 9th European Dry Grassland Group meeting held in Prespa, Greece, 2012. The topic of this meeting was “Dry grasslands of Europe: grazing and ecosystem services” with special focus on Southern European regions. The Special Issue, apart from this Editorial, consists of eight contributions arranged according to the three major topics: syntaxonomy (5 articles), management (2) and conservation (1). The classification papers include descriptions of four new associations and four subassociations. Data about management practices are provided as well. We conclude that dry grassland vegetation in Southern Europe exhibits transitions between different higher syntaxa and thus requires further studies at broader scales to allow better understanding at the supranational scale.

Keywords

  • Elyno-Seslerietea
  • European Dry Grassland Group (EDGG)
  • Festuco-Brometea
  • grazing
  • Helianthemetea guttati
  • Koelerio-Corynephoretea
  • Mediterranean
  • Molinio-Arrhenatheretea.

Ključne besede

  • Elyno-Seslerietea
  • Evropska skupina za suha travišča (EDGG)
  • Festuco-Brometea
  • paša
  • Helianthemetea guttati
  • Koelerio-Corynephoretea
  • Mediteran
  • Molinio-Arrhenatheretea
Open Access

The Festuco-Brometea Grasslands on Sandstone and Marl-Clay-Sandstone Substrata in Tuscany (Northern-Central Italy)

Published Online: 17 Jun 2014
Page range: 19 - 54

Abstract

Abstract

The grasslands dominated by Bromus erectus and/or Brachypodium rupestre cover large areas on sandstone and marl-clay-sandstone substrata (limestone is excluded), of the Apennines and pre-Apennines between Pistoia and Arezzo provinces (Tuscany, Central Italy). Our investigation was focused on to 71 unpublished releves and 45 literature releves from Tuscany and surrounding areas, reporting the original releves of Astragalo monspessulani-Brometum erecti, Centaureo bracteatae-Brometum erecti and Ononido masquillerii-Brometum erecti. The releves were submitted to exploratory multivariate analysis, allowing to detect nine distinct groups. Their consistence was verified by mean of NMDS against Ellenberg/Pignatti indicator values, and CCA constrained against chorotypes and growth forms. Diagnostic species of the definitive groups resulting from the analysis were chosen according to species fidelity, based on the φ coefficient of association. The analysis splits the data set in two main subclusters; the first one (A) includes few releves of low altitude, thermophilous conenoses, interpreted as a transition between the submediterranean aspects of Festuco-Brometea class and other Mediterranean herbaceous and shrubby classes; the second subcluster (B) includes most of the data set and can be clearly subdivided in pioneering, mesoxerophilous communities (B1 and B2a groups) and mesophilous communities (B2b group). The releves of clusters B1 and B2a are referred to Coronillo minimae-Astragaletum monspessulanii association and to three other groups: Plantago argentea-Carex caryophyllea communities, Tragopogon samaritani-Bromus erectus communities, Festuco trachyphyllae-Brometum erecti ass. nova. The mesophilous group (B2b) includes the original Centaureo bracteatae-Brometum erecti and Ononido masquillerii-Brometum erecti releves, together with a slightly differentiated community; due to the non-relevant differences between these grassland types from floristic, ecological and chorological perspectives, we propose herewith to treat them as three subassociations of Centaureo bracteatae-Brometum erecti (typicum, ononidetosum masquillerii and linetosum cathartici). Post-cultural grasslands in human-disturbed areas were also detected. All these communities can be attributed to Polygalo mediterraneae-Bromenion erecti suballiance (Bromion alliance), even if a clear subdivision between the mesoxerophilous pioneer aspects and the more mesophilous and evolved ones can be noted.

Keywords

  • Bromion erecti
  • Ellenberg Indicator Values
  • grasslands
  • multivariate analysis
  • Northern Apennines
  • phytosociology
  • syntaxonomy.

Ključne besede

  • Bromion erecti
  • Ellenbergove indikatorske vrednosti
  • travišča
  • multivariatna analiza
  • severni Apenini
  • fitosociologija
  • sintaksonomija.
Open Access

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

Published Online: 17 Jun 2014
Page range: 57 - 77

Abstract

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.

Keywords

  • Balkan Peninsula
  • classification
  • ordination
  • Seslerietum juncifoliae s.l.
  • syntaxonomy
  • vegetation

Ključne besede

  • Balkanski polotok
  • klasifikacija
  • ordinacija
  • Seslerietum juncifoliae s.l.
  • sintaksonomija
  • vegetacija
Open Access

Dry Grassland Vegetation in the Transition Zone Between two Biogeographic Regions

Published Online: 17 Jun 2014
Page range: 79 - 120

Abstract

Abstract

The geographic position of Bulgaria results in a variety of climatic and biogeographic influences on the country’s vegetation. We aim to describe the plant diversity of dry grasslands distributed in the transitional belt between the south-eastern European and Mediterranean biogeographic regions in SE Bulgaria, and to reveal if there are any obvious differences in soil properties, presence of life forms and chorotypes between syntaxa. The data set consists of 349 releves of vascular plants and bryophytes sampled in different semi-natural herbaceous vegetation types. By applying TWINSPAN, we classified 176 releves of dry grasslands to eight associations and one unranked community. One association and two subassociations are described here for the first time. Data on soil depth, soil moisture, soil pH, humus and total N content, numbers of different life forms and chorotypes were analysed statistically. The dry grasslands in SE Bulgaria were classified into different vegetation classes sharing the same territory: their communities present similarities in species composition and they have similar ratios of hemicryptophytes/therophytes and Euro-Asiatic/Mediterranean species. Dry grassland vegetation occupies mostly shallow and dry soils that vary slightly in pH, humus content and soil moisture between associations.

Keywords

  • Bulgaria
  • Festuco-Brometea
  • Helianthemetea guttati
  • Koelerio-Corynephoretea

Ključne besede

  • Bolgarija
  • Festuco-Brometea
  • Helianthemetea guttati
  • Koelerio-Corynephoretea
Open Access

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

Published Online: 17 Jun 2014
Page range: 121 - 169

Abstract

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.

Keywords

  • Astragalo-Potentilletalia
  • dry calcareous grasslands
  • Festuco-Brometea
  • steppe plants
  • syntaxonomy
  • vegetation classification

Ključne besede

  • Astragalo-Potentilletalia
  • suha travišča na apnencu
  • Festuco-Brometea
  • stepske rastline
  • sintaksonomija
  • klasifikacija vegetacije
Open Access

Dry Grassland Types in the Prespa National Park (Nw Greece), Including the Southernmost Occurrence of the Priority Habitat Type “Pannonic Sand Steppes” (Code 6260)

Published Online: 17 Jun 2014
Page range: 171 - 189

Abstract

Abstract

A recently completed project on the Natura 2000 sites of Prespa National Park revealed that the area hosts 49 habitat types according to the EU classification, of which eight have a narrowly restricted distribution in Greece. The priority habitat type “*6260 Pannonic sand steppes” is reported here for the first time for Greece. The new locality represents its southernmost occurrence on the Balkan Peninsula. The aim of this paper therefore is to describe the Greek stands of this habitat type, investigate the factors affecting its occurrence and discuss the associated conservation issues. This is based on a total of 87 releves sampled for this study and 8 additional releves from the literature. The releves were classified by applying TWINSPAN and ordinated using Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA). Six vegetation units could be distinguished. One of these corresponds to the habitat type *6260 and was found exclusively on inland sand dunes. Syntaxonomically, we assigned this unit to the alliance Sileno conicae-Cerastion semidecandri s.l. of the class Koelerio-Corynephoretea. Its occurrence in the study area seems to be determined by climatic factors, as well as by the sandy substrate, while anthropogenic disturbances such as grazing also appear to be beneficial to some degree. Apart from the Koelerio-Corynephoretea, another five grassland classes were distinguished in the national park, namely the Thero-Brachypodietea, Stellarietea mediae, Festuco-Brometea, Daphno-Festucetea and Juncetea trifidi.

Keywords

  • Habitats Directive
  • Koelerio-Corynephoretea
  • phytosociology
  • Sileno conicae-Cerastion semidecandri
  • syntaxonomy.

Ključne besede

  • Habitatna direktiva
  • Koelerio-Corynephoretea
  • fitosociologija
  • Sileno conicae-Cerastion semidecandri
  • sintaksonomija
Open Access

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

Published Online: 17 Jun 2014
Page range: 191 - 204

Abstract

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.

Keywords

  • classification
  • grazing
  • mowing
  • ordination
  • species diversity
  • syntaxonomy
  • vegetation.

Ključne besede

  • klasifikacija
  • paša
  • košnja
  • ordinacija
  • vrstna pestrost
  • sintaksonomija
  • vegetacija
Open Access

Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Sheep and Goats Grazing in Different Forage Resources of Northern Greece

Published Online: 17 Jun 2014
Page range: 205 - 213

Abstract

Abstract

Grazing animals explore different forage resources to satisfy their daily nutrient needs, following specific spatial and temporal patterns throughout the year. In this study four different flocks of sheep and goats (two of each species) were selected to record their spatial location with a handheld GPS during spring, summer and winter. At the same time, three animals in each flock were followed to study their grazing activities by direct observation. These data with the time information and a detailed land use map were manipulated in a GIS to assign animal activities to different forage resources. Sheep and goats were travelling long distances (7.5 km and 9.0 km, respectively) to satisfy their nutritional needs throughout the year. They were found to graze in two main forage resources, rangelands (grasslands, shrublands and forest ranges) and agricultural land (fallow land, stubble fields and temporary pastures). Both grazer species spent significantly less time (P≤ 0.05) feeding in rangelands (38.9% & 18.1%) than in agricultural land (63.6% & 53.4%) during spring and summer. It appears that a heterogeneous landscape is necessary for supporting extensive farming systems of small ruminants since rangelands and agricultural land complement each other in providing forage throughout the year.

Keywords

  • Flocks
  • GIS
  • GPS
  • grazing activities
  • rangelands
  • small ruminants

Ključne besede

  • čreda
  • GIS
  • GPS
  • paša
  • pašniki
  • drobnica
Open Access

Fundamental Basis for the Conservation of Biodiversity of the Black Sea-Kazak H Steppes

Published Online: 17 Jun 2014
Page range: 215 - 228

Abstract

Abstract

The paper presents new approaches for assessing the conservation value of plant communities based on the use of quantitative criteria contained in databases and eco-floristic classification of steppe vegetation in the Don basin (Rostov region). The Black Sea and Kazakhstan steppes have significant potential for environmental protection. Analysis of biodiversity levels has been facilitated by descriptions of plant communities and quantitative indicators of major faunal groups of soil invertebrates (macrofauna) in the Tobol-Turgai basin (Kostanay region, Kazakhstan). As the structure of soil invertebrate communities is closely associated with vegetation, its assessment can provide insight into the degree of preservation or the depth of disturbance of ecosystems such as those found in the Black Sea and Kazakhstan steppes.

Keywords

  • ecological network
  • Festucetea vaginatae
  • Festuco-Brometea
  • Festuco-Puccinellietea
  • Helianthemo-Thymetea
  • phytocenotic diversity
  • plant community
  • soil macrofauna.

Ključne besede

  • ekološka mreža
  • Festucetea vaginatae
  • Festuco-Brometea
  • Festuco-Puccinellietea
  • Helianthemo-Thy-metea
  • fitocenološka diverziteta
  • rastlinska združba
  • talna makrofavna

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