The definition of vegetation types at different hierarchical levels, both to study the vegetation processes and for practical cartography representation, is still considered a critical issue in many circles of plant ecologists. The problems are mainly related to the misleading idea that classification of the vegetation system, as developed by European phytosociologist during the last century within the discipline called syntaxonomy, would imply the assumption of the organismic concept of the plant community. After a short discussion on the role of Braun- Blanquet approach in plant ecology and in landscape ecology, the methods to detect multispecies responses along environmental gradients are briefly reviewed. In the main part of this article, we intend to stress that concepts considered critical, such as plant association and its ecological niche, are just operational tools that have nothing to do with the individualistic or organismic interpretation of plant communities in vegetation studies. Important to our views on vegetation, we believe that plant associations as well as the higher sintaxa can be regarded as fuzzy sets in an operational context for describing vegetation along ecological gradients in synthetic ways and can further the understanding of vegetation variation.

Modelling Environmental Responses of Plant Associations: A Review of Some Critical Concepts in Vegetation Study.

FEOLI, ENRICO;
2004

Abstract

The definition of vegetation types at different hierarchical levels, both to study the vegetation processes and for practical cartography representation, is still considered a critical issue in many circles of plant ecologists. The problems are mainly related to the misleading idea that classification of the vegetation system, as developed by European phytosociologist during the last century within the discipline called syntaxonomy, would imply the assumption of the organismic concept of the plant community. After a short discussion on the role of Braun- Blanquet approach in plant ecology and in landscape ecology, the methods to detect multispecies responses along environmental gradients are briefly reviewed. In the main part of this article, we intend to stress that concepts considered critical, such as plant association and its ecological niche, are just operational tools that have nothing to do with the individualistic or organismic interpretation of plant communities in vegetation studies. Important to our views on vegetation, we believe that plant associations as well as the higher sintaxa can be regarded as fuzzy sets in an operational context for describing vegetation along ecological gradients in synthetic ways and can further the understanding of vegetation variation.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11368/1693760
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