The differentiation of anthropogenous forest communities: a synsystematical approach
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Purely man-made deciduous and coniferous forests dominated by native as well as non-native tree species cover large areas in Central Europe. Although there is a long tradition and continuity in phytosociology to study flora and vegetation of anthropogenous forests, synsystematic and syntaxonomy of forest communities are still mainly restricted to forests considered natural and semi-natural. However, purely man-made forests also have to be considered as a part of the vegetation and can thus be integrated into the Braun-Blanquet system of vegetation. Taking man-made coniferous and deciduous forests in Central Europe as an example, a synsystematical approach is presented here. On the basis of vegetation studies in anthropogenous Picea abies, Pinus sylvestris, and Populus ×euramericana stands in Germany, their specific phytosociological character is outlined. The Galio harcynici-Piceetum, Pleurozio schreberi-Pinetum, and the Salix cinerea- and Calamagrostis canescens-Populus ×euramericana communities are differentiated employing phytosociological criteria and are integrated into the Braun-Blanquet system of vegetation. Within the investigated man-made forest communities, ecologically diagnostic species indicate different siteconditions (e.g. soil water condition, nutrient supply) and stand history. Moreover, this contribution stresses the fact that the synsystematical approach of phytosociology has clearly to be distinguished both, conceptionally and methodically, from an assessment of naturalness.