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      The concept of vegetation class and order in phytosociological syntaxonomy

      Vegetation Classification and Survey

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          In order to stabilize the defining concepts of the higher rank syntaxonomic units such as class or order, the criteria of floristic content and unity of origin are enunciated. This is done with the aim of preventing the fragmentation of the large classes and the subsequent typological inflation. For orders, the criterion of specific floristic content is discussed, with orders that have been described to encompass seral secondary forests or the separation of forest vegetation from that which is dominated by shrubs rejected, due to their weak floristic characterization. These criteria have been applied to two forest vegetation classes: the European temperate (Querco-Fagetea) and the Mediterranean (Quercetea ilicis). For the first, it is argued in favor of maintaining a single class for all temperate deciduous forests in Europe instead of dividing them into four. Within this single class five orders are distinguished: Fagetalia, Quercetalia roboris, Quercetalia pubescenti-petraeae, Alno-Fraxinetalia and Populetalia albae, rejecting the orders that have been proposed for secondary forests because they have few characteristic taxa. For the sclerophyllous and macchia forests of Mediterranean Europe, the Quercetea ilicis class can be split into two or three geographical orders, rejecting the Pistacio-Rhamnetalia alaterni as a shrubby physiognomic unit. Taxonomic reference: Castroviejo S (coord. gen.) (1986–2012) Flora iberica 1–8, 10–15, 17–18, 21. Real Jardín Botánico, CSIC, Madrid, ES. Syntaxonomic reference: Mucina et al. (2016).

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          Most cited references 14

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          Vegetation of Europe: hierarchical floristic classification system of vascular plant, bryophyte, lichen, and algal communities

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            Local and regional patterns of species richness in Central European vegetation types along the pH/calcium gradient

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              Biogeography of Oaks in the Arcto-Tertiary Province

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Vegetation Classification and Survey
                VCS
                Pensoft Publishers
                2683-0671
                December 21 2020
                December 21 2020
                : 1
                : 163-167
                Article
                10.3897/VCS/2020/59977
                © 2020

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