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This is a list of phytosociological classes, orders and alliances of European vegetation according to Mucina et al. (2016).

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Mucina L., Bültmann H., Dierßen K., Theurillat J.-P., Raus T., Čarni A., … Tichý L. (2016). Vegetation of Europe: Hierarchical floristic classification system of vascular plant, bryophyte, lichen, and algal communities. Applied Vegetation Science, 19(Suppl. 1), 3–264. https://doi.org/10.1111/avsc.12257

This is a list of phytosociological classes, orders and alliances of European vegetation according to Mucina et al. (2016) with corrections of typos and minor formal errors by W. Willner, I. Biurrun, M. Chytrý, F. Fernández González and Z. Preislerová.

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Mucina L., Bültmann H., Dierßen K., Theurillat J.-P., Raus T., Čarni A., … Tichý L. (2016). Vegetation of Europe: Hierarchical floristic classification system of vascular plant, bryophyte, lichen, and algal communities. Applied Vegetation Science, 19(Suppl. 1), 3–264. https://doi.org/10.1111/avsc.12257

This is a list of phytosociological classes, orders and alliances of European vegetation according to Mucina et al. (2016) with additional modifications:

  • corrections of typos and minor formal errors by W. Willner, I. Biurrun, M. Chytrý, F. Fernández González and Z. Preislerová (already included in version 2)
  • syntaxonomic changes in the vegetation of coastal dunes (classes Ammophiletea arundinaceae, Helichryso-Crucianelletea maritimae and Honckenyo peploidis-Leymetea arenarii), Mediterranean pine forests (order Pinetalia halepensis) and bogs (class Oxycocco-Sphagnetea) approved by the European Vegetation Classification Committee in January 2024 following the proposals published by Marcenò et al. (2018, 2024), Bonari et al. (2021) and Jiroušek et al. (2022), respectively (newly included in version 3)

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Bonari G., Fernández‐González F., Çoban S., Monteiro‐Henriques T., Bergmeier E., Didukh Ya. P. … Chytrý, M. (2021). Classification of the Mediterranean lowland to submontane pine forest vegetation. Applied Vegetation Science, 24, e12544. https://doi.org/10.1111/avsc.12544
Jiroušek, M., Peterka, T., Chytrý, M., Jiménez-Alfaro, B., Kuznetsov, O.L., Pérez-Haase, A. … Hájek, M. (2022). Classification of European bog vegetation of the Oxycocco-Sphagnetea class. Applied Vegetation Science, 25, e12646. https://doi.org/10.1111/avsc.12646
Marcenò, C., Guarino, R., Loidi, J., Herrera, M., Isermann, M., Knollová, I. … Chytrý, M. (2018). Classification of European and Mediterranean coastal dune vegetation. Applied Vegetation Science, 21, 533–559. https://doi.org/10.1111/avsc.12379
Marcenò, C., Danihelka, J., Dziuba, T., Willner, W. & Chytrý, M. (2024). Nomenclatural revision of the syntaxa of European coastal dune vegetation. Vegetation Classification and Survey, 5, 27–37. https://doi.org/10.3897/VCS.108560
Mucina, L., Bültmann, H., Dierßen, K., Theurillat, J.-P., Raus, T., Čarni, A. … Tichý, L. (2016). Vegetation of Europe: Hierarchical floristic classification system of vascular plant, bryophyte, lichen, and algal communities. Applied Vegetation Science, 19(Suppl. 1.), 3–264. https://doi.org/10.1111/avsc.12257

This is a dataset of structural, ecological and biogeographical attributes of European vegetation alliances according to Preislerová et al. (2024).

Data source and citation

Preislerová Z., Marcenò C., Loidi J., Bonari G., Borovyk D., Gavilán R.G., … Chytrý M. (2024) Structural, ecological and biogeographical attributes of European vegetation alliances. Applied Vegetation Science, 27, e12766. https://doi.org/10.1111/avsc.12766

Version 2024-02-01, https://zenodo.org/records/10563021 .

The list of habitats of the EUNIS Habitat Classification at the hierarchical levels 1, 2 and 3 in a spreadsheet format.

Data source and citation

Chytrý M., Tichý L., Hennekens S.M., Knollová I., Janssen J.A.M., Rodwell J.S., … Schaminée J.H.J. (2020). EUNIS Habitat Classification: expert system, characteristic species combinations and distribution maps of European habitats. Applied Vegetation Science, 23(4), 648–675. https://doi.org/10.1111/avsc.12519 – Version 2021-06-01: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4812736

The factsheets for individual habitats of the EUNIS Habitat Classification were prepared based on the vegetation-plot data from the European Vegetation Archive (EVA; Chytrý et al. 2016; http://euroveg.org/eva-database) and other databases classified by the expert system EUNIS-ESy v2021-06-01. Each factsheet includes a brief habitat description, distribution map, corresponding alliances of EuroVegChecklist ( Mucina et al. 2016) and characteristic species combination divided into diagnostic, constant and dominant species.

Data source and citation

Chytrý M., Tichý L., Hennekens S.M., Knollová I., Janssen J.A.M., Rodwell J.S., … Schaminée J.H.J. (2020). EUNIS Habitat Classification: expert system, characteristic species combinations and distribution maps of European habitats. Applied Vegetation Science, 23(4), 648–675. https://doi.org/10.1111/avsc.12519 – Version 2021-06-01: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4812736

Further references

Chytrý M., Hennekens S.M., Jiménez-Alfaro B., Knollová I., Dengler J., Jansen F., … Yamalov S. (2016). European Vegetation Archive (EVA): an integrated database of European vegetation plots. Applied Vegetation Science, 19(1), 173–180. https://doi.org/10.1111/avsc.12191
Mucina L., Bültmann H., Dierßen K., Theurillat J.-P., Raus T., Čarni A., … Tichý L. (2016). Vegetation of Europe: Hierarchical floristic classification system of vascular plant, bryophyte, lichen, and algal communities. Applied Vegetation Science, 19(Suppl. 1), 3–264. https://doi.org/10.1111/avsc.12257

Characteristic species combinations for EUNIS habitats at the hierarchical level 3 include diagnostic, constant and dominant species calculated from the vegetation-plot data from the European Vegetation Archive (EVA; Chytrý et al. 2016; http://euroveg.org/eva-database) and other databases classified by the expert system EUNIS-ESy v2021-06-01.

Diagnostic species are species with occurrences concentrated in a particular habitat, being absent or rare in other habitats. As such, they are useful as positive indicators of the habitat. However, diagnostic species may be absent from the habitat at many sites. Diagnostic species were determined based on species fidelity, i.e. the degree of concentration of species occurrences in each group of plots representing a Level 3 EUNIS habitat. Fidelity was calculated using the phi coefficient of association (Sokal and Rohlf, 1995; Chytrý et al., 2002), standardized as if each habitat was represented by the same number of plots (Tichý and Chytrý, 2006). The species with a value of phi greater than 0.15 for a particular habitat were considered diagnostic for this habitat. However, the concentration of species occurrences in the habitat, even if expressed by a high value of the phi coefficient, may not be statistically significant for some habitats represented by a low number of plots in the data set. Therefore, the statistical significance of the species–habitat association was tested using Fisher's exact test (Sokal and Rohlf, 1995), and if not significant at p < 0.05, the species was excluded from the list of diagnostic species (Tichý and Chytrý, 2006).

Constant species are species that occur frequently but not necessarily exclusively in a particular habitat: some of them may be generalist species that are also frequent in other habitats. These species were defined as those with a constancy (= percentage occurrence frequency) of at least 10% in the target habitat.

Dominant species are those that often reach high cover in a particular habitat, thus determining the habitat physiognomy. Dominant species were defined as those that occurred with a cover greater than 25% in at least 5% of vegetation plots classified to the target habitat. This means that a species is considered as dominant even if it does not belong to the tallest vegetation layer, and a single plot can have more than one dominant species. Conversely, a habitat can have no dominant species, especially if it has sparse vegetation cover.

Data source and citation

Chytrý M., Tichý L., Hennekens S.M., Knollová I., Janssen J.A.M., Rodwell J.S., … Schaminée J.H.J. (2020). EUNIS Habitat Classification: expert system, characteristic species combinations and distribution maps of European habitats. Applied Vegetation Science, 23(4), 648–675. https://doi.org/10.1111/avsc.12519 – Version 2021-06-01: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4812736

Further references

Chytrý M., Tichý L., Holt J. & Botta-Dukát Z. (2002). Determination of diagnostic species with statistical fidelity measures. Journal of Vegetation Science, 13(1), 79–90. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1654-1103.2002.tb02025.x
Chytrý M., Hennekens S.M., Jiménez-Alfaro B., Knollová I., Dengler J., Jansen F., … Yamalov S. (2016). European Vegetation Archive (EVA): an integrated database of European vegetation plots. Applied Vegetation Science, 19(1), 173–180. https://doi.org/10.1111/avsc.12191
Sokal, R.R. & Rohlf, F.J. (1995). Biometry, 3rd edition. New York, NY: Freeman.
Tichý L. & Chytrý M. (2006). Statistical determination of diagnostic species for site groups of unequal size. Journal of Vegetation Science, 17(6), 809–818. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1654-1103.2006.tb02504.x

Disturbance indicator values for European plants (Midolo et al. 2023) define mean optima along gradients of natural and anthropogenic disturbance for 6,382 vascular plant species. They were derived from analysis of 736,366 European vegetation plots and expert-based characterization of disturbance regimes in 236 habitat types. The dataset contains five main continuous indicator values for European plants: disturbance severity, disturbance frequency, mowing frequency, grazing pressure and soil disturbance. The first two indicators are provided separately for the whole community and the herb layer.

Data source and citation

Midolo G., Herben T., Axmanová I., Marcenò C., Pätsch R., Bruelheide H., ... & Chytrý M. (2023). Disturbance indicator values for European plants. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 32, 24–34. https://doi.org/10.1111/GEB.13603

Ellenberg-type indicator values for European plant species are expert-based rankings of plant species according to their ecological optima on main environmental gradients, using ordinal scales defined by Ellenberg et al. (1991). Here we extend the original indicator-value system by incorporating compatible systems developed for other European regions and creating a harmonized dataset of indicator values applicable at the European scale. Values for individual species were calculated as the means across available national or regional datasets of plant indicator values or were newly assigned based on species co-occurrences in European vegetation plots, see Tichý et al. (2023). Although they have one decimal place, the newly introduced indicator values are compatible with the original Ellenberg values. They can be used for large-scale studies of European flora and vegetation or gap-filling in regional datasets. We provide here not only the newly compiled values, but also the original and taxonomically harmonized regional datasets of Ellenberg-type indicator values.

Data source and citation

Tichý L., Axmanová I., Dengler J., Guarino R., Jansen F., Midolo G., … Chytrý M. (2023). Ellenberg-type indicator values for European vascular plant species. Journal of Vegetation Science, 34, e13168. https://doi.org/10.1111/jvs.13168.

Further references

Ellenberg H., Weber H. E., Düll R., Wirth V., Werner W. & Paulißen D. (1991). Zeigerwerte von Pflanzen in Mitteleuropa. Scripta Geobotanica, 18, 1–248.

The combined dataset of European indicator values for Ellenberg-type indicator values (rankings of plant species according to their ecological optima on main environmental gradients, Tichý et al. 2023) and disturbance indicator values (Midolo et al. 2023).

Data source and citation

Tichý L., Axmanová I., Dengler J., Guarino R., Jansen F., Midolo G., … Chytrý M. (2023). Ellenberg-type indicator values for European vascular plant species. Journal of Vegetation Science, 34, e13168. https://doi.org/10.1111/jvs.13168
Midolo G., Herben T., Axmanová I., Marcenò C., Pätsch R., Bruelheide H., ... & Chytrý M. (2023). Disturbance indicator values for European plants. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 32, 24–34. https://doi.org/10.1111/GEB.13603

The main categories of the life-form classification follow the system of Raunkiaer (1934), which is based on the position of the buds that survive the unfavourable season. In addition, we use auxiliary categories where it is possible to use finer differentiation.

At least one main category is assigned to each species, while some species can belong to more than one main category. Phanerophyte is a perennial woody or succulent plant with regenerative buds higher than 30 cm above the soil surface (includes trees, shrubs and tall succulents, excludes lianas and epiphytes). Chamaephyte is a perennial herb, low woody plant or succulent with regenerative buds above ground level, but not taller than 30 cm (includes dwarf shrubs, semi-shrubs, small succulents and some herbs). Hemicryptophyte is a perennial or biennial herb with regenerative buds on shoots at the ground level. Geophyte is a perennial plant with regenerative buds located belowground, usually with bulbs, tubers, or rhizomes. Hydrophyte is a plant that survives unfavourable seasons by means of buds that are at the bottom of a water body. Therophyte is a summer- or winter-annual herb that survives adverse seasons only as seeds and germinates in autumn, winter or spring. Epiphyte is either parasitic or non-parasitic plant that grows on other plants.

Auxiliary categories are only used for some species. Tree is a phanerophyte with a stem and a crown. Shrub is a phanerophyte branching from the stem base. Woody liana is a phanerophyte in the form of a long-stemmed woody vine. Semi-shrub (i.e. suffruticose chamaephyte) is a chamaephyte with shoots that usually grow straight up, bear leaves and flowers and die at the end of the growing season except for their lower part, which bears buds. Dwarf shrub is a chamaephyte with shoots that lignify instead of dying. Herbaceous liana is a hemicryptophyte, geophyte or therophyte with climbing aboveground stems.

Data were compiled from several databases and floras (Săvulescu 1952–1976, Horváth et al. 1995, Klotz et al. 2002, Tavşanoğlu & Pausas 2018, Guarino et al. 2019, Kaplan et al. 2019, French Flora database), European broad-scale studies (Wagner et al. 2017, Giulio et al. 2020), and different online sources (e.g. GreekFlora.gr). In the case of different assessments in original data sources, we critically revised them using additional sources.

Data source and citation

Dřevojan P., Čeplová N., Štěpánková P. & Axmanová I. (2023) Life form. – www.FloraVeg.eu.

Further references

Giulio, S., Acosta, A. T. R., Carboni, M., Campos, J. A., Chytrý, M., Loidi, J., … Marcenò, C. (2020). Alien flora across European coastal dunes. Applied Vegetation Science, 23(3), 317–327. https://doi.org/10.1111/avsc.12490
GreekFlora.gr. Available at https://www.greekflora.gr/ [accessed June 2020]
Guarino, R., La Rosa, M. & Pignatti, S. (Eds) (2019). Flora d'Italia, volume 4. Bologna: Edagricole.
Horváth, F., Dobolyi, Z. K., Morschhauser, T., Lõkös, L., Karas, L. & Szerdahelyi, T. (1995). Flóra adatbázis 1.2 – taxonlista és attribútum-állomány. [FLORA database 1.2 – lists of taxa and relevant attributes.] Vácrátót: FLÓRA munkacsoport, MTA-ÖBKI, MTM Növénytára.
French Flora database (baseflor), project of Flore et végétation de la France et du Monde: CATMINAT. Available at http://philippe.julve.pagesperso-orange.fr/catminat.htm [accessed June 2020]
Kaplan Z., Danihelka J., Chrtek J. Jr., Kirschner J., Kubát K., Štěpánek J. & Štech M. (Eds.) (2019). Klíč ke květeně České republiky [Key to the flora of the Czech Republic]. Ed. 2. Praha: Academia.
Klotz, S., Kühn, I. & Durka, W. (2002). BIOLFLOR – Eine Datenbank zu biologisch-ökologischen Merkmalen der Gefäßpflanzen in Deutschland. Schriftenreihe für Vegetationskunde, 38, 1–334.
Raunkiaer C. (1934). The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Tavşanoğlu, Ç., & Pausas, J. (2018). A functional trait database for Mediterranean Basin plants. Scientific Data, 5, 180135. https://doi.org/10.1038/sdata.2018.135
Wagner, V., Chytrý, M., Jiménez-Alfaro, B., Pergl, J., Hennekens, S., Biurrun, I., … Pyšek, P. (2017). Alien plant invasions in European woodlands. Diversity and Distributions, 23(9), 969–981. https://doi.org/10.1111/ddi.12592
Săvulescu, T. (Ed.) (1952–1976). Flora Republicii Populare Române – Flora Republicii Socialiste România. Vols 1–13. București: Editura Academiei Republicii Populare Române, Academia Republicii Socialiste România.

This dataset contains seed dispersal distance classes and predominant dispersal modes for most species of European vascular plants. Species were classified into seven ordered classes with similar dispersal distances estimated based on the predominant dispersal mode, the morphology of dispersal units (diaspores or propagules), life form, plant height, seed mass, habitat preferences, and known dispersal by humans. The assignment of species to dispersal distance classes follows a modified approach originally suggested by Vittoz & Engler (2007).

Data source and citation

Lososová Z., Axmanová I., Chytrý M., Midolo G., Abdulhak S., Karger D.N., Renaud J., Van Es J., Vittoz P. & Thuiller W. (2023). Seed dispersal distance classes and dispersal modes for the European flora. Global Ecology and Biogeography.

Further references

Vittoz P. & Engler R. (2007). Seed dispersal distances: a typology based on dispersal modes and plant traits. Botanica Helvetica, 117, 109–124.

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