Working group on dry grasslands in the Nordic and Baltic region – Outline of the project and first results for the class Festuco-Brometea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The vegetation databank established by our working group covers the classes Festuco-Brometea, Koelerio-Corynephoretea, and Trifolio-Geranietea sanguinei in the Nordic and Baltic region, i.e. NE Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, N Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and NW Russia. We aim to use these data to develop a consistent supra-national phytosociological classification of these xerothermic vegetation types in the study area and to analyse their biodiversity patterns. Up to now, we located some 12,500 relevés meeting our criteria, and more than 3,500 of them have already been included in the databank. We give an overview of the properties of these relevés as regards coverage of syntaxa and countries, source types, plot sizes, and cryptogam treatment. We also present first analyses for the basiphilous semi-dry grasslands (Brachypodietalia pinnati) within the Festuco-Brometea. For this group of communities, many different and incompatible classification schemes have been proposed. We give an overview of the alliance and association names that have been in use for them in the study area, accompanied by a nomenclatural assessment. The relevés presently included in the databank have been tentatively assigned to those vegetation classes whose diagnostic taxa were prevailing. Accordingly, more than 2,000 relevés have been placed in the Festuco-Brometea. These show considerable floristic differences compared to stands of the southern temperate Brachypodietalia pinnati alliances Bromion erecti, Cirsio-Brachypodion pinnati, and Agrostion vinealis. The presence degrees of Avenula pratensis and Homalothecium lutescens, for instance, are significantly increased in the study area, and those of Festuca rupicola and Euphorbia cyparissias decreased. An analysis of the species-area relationship yielded a power function with z = 0.09 which is considerably lower than increments determined by nested-plot analyses of this commu-nity type, indicating the probable incompleteness of the species lists for many of the larger plots. Finally, we give an outlook on the future objectives of the working group.


  • Jürgen Dengler
  • Solvita Rūsiņa
  • Steffen Boch
  • Hans Henrik Bruun
  • Martin Diekmann
  • Klaus Dierßen
  • Christian Dolnik
  • Cecilia Dupré
  • Valentin B. Golub
  • Jon-Arvid Grytnes
  • Aveliina Helm
  • Nele Ingerpuu
  • Swantje Löbel
  • Meelis Pärtel
  • Valerijus Rašomavičius
  • Germund Tyler
  • Sergey R. Znamenskiy
  • Martin Zobel
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Ecology


  • plant communities, vegetation, classification
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-100
JournalAnnali di Botanica N.S.
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Plant Ecology and Systematics (Closed 2011) (011004000)