Vegetation of European springs: High-rank syntaxa of the Montio-Cardaminetea
Zechmeister, H.; Mucina, L.
Journal of Vegetation Science 5(3): 385-402
A survey of high-rank syntaxa of vegetation of European springs (class Montio-Cardaminetea) is presented. It shows the complexity of the class and the relations between the units. More than 1200 releves were arranged into six phytosociological tables, each representing an alliance. A synoptic table comprising all alliances is presented. Bryophytes are the most important group in most of the communities, both regarding biomass and cover. The Adiantetea and the Montio-Cardaminetea are combined into one class. As to floristics and ecology, there are no obvious reasons to distinguish more than one order in this class. The vegetation of European springs is divided into six alliances: (1) Adiantion, split into two new suballiances, Adiantenion and Lycopodo-Cratoneurenion; (2) Cratoneurion commutati; (3) Cardamino-Montion - incl. three new suballiances: Mniobryo-Epilobienion hornemannii, Swertio-Anisothecienion and Cardamino-Montenion; (4) Dernatocarpion; (5) Epilobio nutantis-Montion; (6) Caricion remotae - incl. two new suballiances: Caricenion remotae and Cratoneuro filicini-Calthenion laetae. The alliances are floristically and ecologically characterized and their distributions in Europe shown on maps.