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Beech forest communities in Bulgaria

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Beech forests occupy considerable areas in the Bulgarian mountains. They are represented by communities of Fagus sylvatica (incl. F. moesiaca) and F. orientalis, and also by mixed stands of beech with Abies alba, Carpinus betulus, Quercus cerris, Q. dalechampii and Q. polycarpa. 494 relevés sampled across the country were analysed by numerical methods. They were classified into 12 groups of Fagus sylvatica forests and 3 groups of Fagus orientalis forests. The analysis of Bulgarian Fagus sylvatica communities did not show a distinct pattern of geographic differentiation and did not support the concept of the alliance Fagion moesiacum, as accepted by many earlier authors. The differentiation patterns in the Bulgarian Fagus sylvatica forests mainly follow the gradients in soils and climate, and are similar to those in the Central European beech forests. Therefore we accept a syntaxonomical scheme, which emphasizes variation due to edaphic and local topoclimatic factors rather than due to large-scale geographical differentiation. This scheme is very close to that proposed by Willner (2002) for the southern Central European beech forests, and includes the alliances Luzulo-Fagion (acidophilous beech forests), Asperulo-Fagion (nutrient-rich beech forests), and Cephalanthero-Fagion (thermophilous beech forests). The communities of Fagus orientalis are markedly different from the communities of Fagus sylvatica, have a distinct floristic composition, and belong to the Euxinian alliance Fagion orientalis.
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Keywords: ACIDOPHILOUS BEECH FORESTS; FAGION MOESIACUM; FAGION ORIENTALIS; FAGION SYLVATICAE; NUMERICAL METHODS; NUTRIENT-RICH BEECH FORESTS; PHYTOSOCIOLOGY; THERMOPHILOUS BEECH FORESTS; VEGETATION SURVEY

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2006

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  • Phytocoenologia (ISSN 0340-269X) is an international, peer-reviewed journal of plant community ecology. It is devoted to vegetation survey and classification at any organizational and spatial scale and without restriction to certain methodological approaches. The journal publishes original papers that develop new vegetation typologies as well as applied studies that use such typologies, for example, in vegetation mapping, ecosystem modelling, nature conservation, land use management or monitoring. Particularly encouraged are methodological studies that design and compare tools for vegetation classification and mapping, such as algorithms, databases and nomenclatural principles. Papers dealing with conceptual and theoretical bases of vegetation survey and classification are also welcome. While large-scale studies are preferred, regional studies will be considered when filling important knowledge gaps or presenting new methods.

    Phytocoenologia was founded by Reinhold Tüxen in 1973 and is published in collaboration with the International Association for Vegetation Science (IAVS; www.iavs.org). The journal closely cooperates with various subgroups of IAVS and serves as publication outlet for their workshops as well as for selected sessions of the IAVS Symposia. It contains special sections on “Phytosociological Nomenclature” and “Ecoinformatics”. Guest-edited Special Features that fall within the scope of the journal are also published.

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