Association (plant sociology)

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The association is the basic unit of the plant sociological classification system according to Josias Braun-Blanquet . It describes a plant community with a certain species composition, uniform physiognomy and similar site conditions. Each association has a very specific species structure (a so-called characteristic species or species group combination). These occur only under very specific environmental conditions in characteristic growth locations. A species through which the plant community under consideration differs from all others is called the type of character or type of identification of this association.

In syntaxonomy (the taxonomy used in plant sociology ) the name of an association consists of one or two characteristic types, which are provided with the ending "-etum", e.g. B. Hordelymo-Fagetum (hair barley beech forest), with the character species forest barley (Hordelymus europaeus) and St. Christopher's herb (Actaea spicata) .

In order to ensure the identification of certain described and taxonomically defined associations, the author of the first description is added to the association name, e.g. B. Hordelymo europaei-Fagetum sylvatici (Tx. 1937) Kuhn 1937 em. Jahn 1972 .

Analogous to the rules for the species names of plants, in cases in which an association was first classified differently in the system, the name of the first author is put in brackets and the name of the author who has been newly classified is added. Special rules concern the spelling or wording of new companies based on the material of others. In the concrete example: Reinhold Tüxen ("Tx.") First described the forest barley beech forest in northern Germany as Fagetum boreoatlanticum elymetosum europaei, i.e. as a subassociation of a broad beech forest. A little later, in a work on the Neckar region , Karl Kuhn renamed the same forest society as an association in Elymo europaei-Fagetum sylvaticae . Gisela Jahn changed the scope of the association in a work on the Eifel (em .: emendavit , emendiert). Since the forest barley from which it was named has now been renamed Hordelymus europaeus and this name has been used in all relevant recent publications, the name was changed as “nomen mutatum” from “Elymo-Fagetum” to “Hordelymo-Fagetum”. The two-digit year numbers that were often used for publication dates before 2000 (ie “37” instead of “1937”) were common in the plant sociological jargon of the 20th century; their use is not recommended in the International Code of Plant Sociological Nomenclature (ICPN).

If one now assumes that the character species of this association has only a very small location amplitude, then this will be replaced by another species (or several) with a very narrow location amplitude (if the species combination remains the same). The more the location changes, the more the species combination will also change, until finally the species with a slightly wider location amplitude also disappear. Exactly these types have the previous associations (which were characterized by the different character types) in common. By means of this type, or types, associations can now be combined into a group of similar associations, the association . Associations can be grouped together in one order, and orders in turn in one class.

See also


  • Anton Fischer: Forest vegetation science. An introduction to geobotany . Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart 2003, ISBN 3-8252-8268-6 .

Web links

Wiktionary: Association  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. C. Flahault, C. Schröter (Ed.): IIIe Congrès International de Botanique, Bruxelles 14–22 May 1910. Phytogeographical nomenclature. Reports and suggestions. Zürcher & Furrer, Zurich 1910, p. 24, digitized by Hathitrust, accessible with US proxy .
  2. Erich Oberdorfer (Ed.): South German Plant Societies. Part IV: Forests and bushes. 2nd Edition. Gustav Fischer, Jena, Stuttgart, New York 1992, ISBN 3-334-60385-7 , text volume, pp. 219-223.
  3. Reinhold Tüxen: The plant communities of Northwest Germany. In: Communications of the floristic-sociological working group in Lower Saxony. Volume 3, 1937, p. 140.
  4. ^ Karl Kuhn: The plant communities in the Neckar area of ​​the Swabian Alb. Hohenlohesche Buchhandlung, Oehringen 1937 (quoted from Oberdorfer 1992).
  5. Gisela Jahn: Forestry growth area structure and silvicultural framework planning in the northern Eifel on the basis of vegetation and location. In: Dissertationes Botanicae. Volume 16, 1972, 288 pp. (Quoted from Oberdorfer 1992).
  6. a b H. E. Weber, J. Moravec, J.-P. Theurillat: International Code of Phytosociological Nomenclature. 3rd edition. In: Journal of Vegetation Science. Volume 11, No. 5, 2000, pp. 739-768. ( PDF file, in the web archive ). German translation by Heinrich E. Weber in: Synopsis of the Plant Societies of Germany. Special issue 1, 2001. Göttingen.