Phytocoenology and the formation of plant communities

Phytocoenology is the study of plant communities (natural units arising mutual relations of plant species and habitats in different geographic areas of the Earth in the course of historical development of vegetation). The name comes: fiton – plant; koinos – communities (Gams 1918) and meets even the name Phytosociology.

Forest phytocenology – part phytocenology who studies the occurrence and distribution of forest plant communities. There are several basic tasks:

  • to provide basic knowledge about breeding, exploitation and forest management (together with other fundamental disciplines)
  • to study the dynamics of forest vegetation (progression and regression), ie its evolution
  • to study the impact of anthropogenic
  • to develop a vegetation map etc.

It developed from the teachings of vegetation and plant geography (phytogeography). Originator is considered Humbolt (physiognomy of vegetation), then Sendtner (ecological direction, the creator of the definition of habitat). These two views attempted to connect Drude (“Vegetation der Erde”) upon which the based famous works Beck and Adamovic of vegetation Illyrian and Moesian areas. From these beginnings has now developed several private schools:

  • Central European – Mediterranean (floristic composition), the most famous Braun – Blanket
  • Russian (relations between species) – Sukachev, Lavrenko
  • Anglo – American (ecological conditions) – Clements


Narrow scientific fields within phytocenology:

  • Morphology – studies the floristic composition and structure of communities
  • Synecology – studies the relationship of plant communities to the environmental conditions
  • Synhronology – studies the history of plant communities in the past
  • Synhorology – studying the geographic distribution of plant communities
  • Systematics (classification) – the systematic study of mutual relations, analyzes the vegetation on syndinamic units, groups them into their systems.


The formation of plant communities – phytocoenoses

The formation of plant communities is carried out according to the conditions of abiotic environmental factors: climate, orographic and edaphic. The complex of these factors without significantly affecting wildlife call Ecotop. Ecotop gradually changes under the influence of plant life that inhabits here and turns into a Biotope. As a consequence of the spatial approximation of plants, there is the influence of one on the other, which makes an essential and specific characteristics of plant communities. Thus phytocenoses and its biotope simultaneously formed in the process of selecting of species and ecotopic phytocenologic selection. Without phytocenologic selection no phytocenoses, but this is only the beginning of her – ecotopic group or aggregation.

Certain types of adjustment phytocenoses, the result of a long process in which the decisive influence had the following factors:

  1. The struggle for survival – because in a certain area can live only a limited number of individuals, which is why it is inevitable to come down to a battle between the same or different species.
  2. Customizing phytocenosis species – species that adapting to each other, mutually complementing each other and have a positive effect (allelopathic relations). This is characterized especially in forests where there is a layering vegetation, but also the emergence of differences in the development of species in different layers.
  3. Historical development – is very important for contemporary phytocenology, because they are created, develop and disappear under the influence of the time.

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