Research article

Phytosociological approach to scree and ravine forest vegetation in Slovakia

Richard Hrivnák , Michal Slezák, Karol Ujházy, Františk Máliš, Drahoš Blanár, Mariana Ujházyová, Ján Kliment

Richard Hrivnák
Institute of Botany, Plant Sciences and Biodiversity Center of Slovak Academy of Sciences, Dúbravská cesta 9, SK-845 23 Slovakia. Email: richard.hrivnak@savba.sk
Michal Slezák
Podtatranské Museum in Poprad, Vajanského 72/4, SK-058 01 Poprad, Slovakia
Karol Ujházy
Department of Phytology, Faculty of Forestry, Technical University in Zvolen, T. G. Masaryka 24, SK-960 53 Zvolen, Slovakia
Františk Máliš
Department of Phytology, Faculty of Forestry, Technical University in Zvolen, T. G. Masaryka 24, SK-960 53 Zvolen, Slovakia
Drahoš Blanár
State Nature Conservancy, National Park Administration of the Muránska planina National Park, J. Kráľa 12, SK-050 01 Revúca, Slovakia
Mariana Ujházyová
Department of Applied Ecology, Faculty of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Technical University in Zvolen, T. G. Masaryka 24, SK-960 53 Zvolen, Slovakia
Ján Kliment
Botanical Garden, Comenius University in Bratislava, Blatnica 315, SK-036 15 Blatnica, Slovakia

Online First: November 26, 2019
Hrivnák, R., Slezák, M., Ujházy, K., Máliš, F., Blanár, D., Ujházyová, M., Kliment, J. 2019. Phytosociological approach to scree and ravine forest vegetation in Slovakia. Annals of Forest Research DOI:10.15287/afr.2019.1355


The aim of the study was to perform phytosociological revision of the scree and ravine forest vegetation in Slovakia in order to identify i) basic vegetation units of vegetation according to their floristic composition, and ii) to find out the main environmental gradients affecting their compositional variability. Relevés originally assigned to broadly comprehended alliance Tilio platyphylli-Acerion (974 relevés) were used for the analyses. In order to select final dataset (527 relevés), formal criteria, such as tree layer cover >50%, relevé area of 200–500 m2 and presence at least two from six traditionally accepted diagnostic species of the alliance in Central Europe (Acer platanoides, Lunaria rediviva, Phyllitis scolopendrium, Polystichum aculeatum, Tilia platyphyllos and Ulmus glabra) were applied to the primal dataset. Altitude, aspect, slope, climatic characteristics (mean annual precipitation and air temperature), geological bedrock and Ellenberg indicator values (EIVs) were specified for each phytosociological relevé. We used modified TWINSPAN algorithm for classification, Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA) for explanation of species composition-environmental relationships, and both ANOVA corrected using modified permutation test and Mann-Whitney U-test to test environmental differences at each step of division by numerical classification. Two alliances, Melico-Tilion platyphylli and Tilio platyphylli-Acerion were distinguished with three (Aceri platanoidis-Tilietum platyphylli, Scolopendrio-Fraxinetum and Seslerio heufleranae-Quercetum petraeae) and two (Mercuriali perennis-Fraxinetum excelsioris and Lunario redivivae-Aceretum pseudoplatani) associations, respectively. Besides the floristic composition, other important factors for differentiation of the associations were altitude and related climatic characteristics. The main environmental characteristics affecting the overall compositional variability of studied forests were EIVs for light, moisture, soil reaction and temperature. The complex syntaxonomical revision identified five floristically and ecologically clearly differentiated associations, what reduced the number to almost half of previously distinguished communities from the territory of Slovakia. Moreover, presented concept is at alliance level in accordance with recent European classification approach.

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