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100 years of Plant Sociology, special issue of Plant Biosystems

21 set 2011

100 years of Plant Sociology:

A celebration

Plant Biosystems - An International Journal Dealing with all Aspects of Plant Biology just released a special issue to celebrate the first century of Plant Sociology

the papers included in the issue (Vol. 145, Supplement 1, September 2011) can be bought on Taylor & Francis Group platform


an excerpt from: C. Blasi, E. Biondi, & J. Izco, Plant Biosystems, Vol. 145, Supplement, September 2011, pp. 1–3

The international year of biodiversity (2010) coincided with the centenary of the first formal definition of plant association, which marked the birth of plant sociology. Since then, plant sociology has been evolving in theory and methodology, and the concept of plant association has been deeply refined.

To celebrate the first 100 years of plant sociology and reflect on the developments and vitality of this discipline within the context of latest technologies and current ecological issues, we invited researchers from different countries to submit articles on new perspectives and approaches and on syntaxonomical subjects of national and international interest to be published in a special issue of Plant Biosystems (Vol. 145, Supplement, September 2011).

First of all, we wish to thank all the people who contributed to realise the special issue at hand by responding to this call with their articles and ideas. The 22 articles presented in this issue cover a broad range of topics and can be schematically divided into three thematic groups.

The first set comprises works that share some focus on the historical developments of plant sociology, though for different objectives and that provide insights into the possible applications of this field for biodiversity conservation and management of natural resources.

Different methodological aspects are treated in the articles included in the second thematic group.

Finally, the third group of articles comprises several syntaxonomical contributions that cover large areas and deal with a wide range of vegetation types.

Overall, the range of articles included in this special issue give true evidence of the amount of possibilities and information that plant sociology can still provide after one century of life, especially when stressing its original ecological and biogeographical connotation.

The articles highlight, in words and facts, how the concept of plant association evolved to accommodate a complete set of information on the characteristics of plant communities and, therefore, gained the value and significance of an authentic ecological model, which serve many purposes for land planning and nature conservation initiatives.

The articles demonstrate that new taxonomical, analytical and statistical skills enriched the procedures of plant sociology in recent decades, enabling more rigorous mapping and characterisation of vegetation units in terms of associations, series and geosigmeta.

Finally, they underline the importance of advanced multivariate statistical procedures and ecological information systems to disseminate vegetation knowledge and as scientific ground for supporting international research projects and programmes.

On this basis, we do feel that modern theoretical and methodological developments of plant sociology offer many ecological perspectives that can reinforce and resume the role of this discipline in the 21st century.



100 years of plant sociology: A celebration - C. Blasi, E. Biondi & J. Izco - pages 1-3

On the opportunity to celebrate the centenary of modern phytosociology in 2010 - J.-M. Géhu - pages 4-8

Phytosociology: A modern geobotanical method - R. Pott - pages 9-18

Phytosociology today: Methodological and conceptual evolution - E. Biondi - pages 19-29

Modern perspectives for plant sociology: The case of ecological land classification and the ecoregions of Italy - C. Blasi & R. Frondoni - pages 30-37

Syntaxonomical diversity: Relationships between syntaxa richness and area - J. Izco & J. Amigo - pages 38-45

Sorting plots not taxa for studying vegetation structure and plant species richness - E. O. Box & K. Fujiwara - pages 46-53

Plant communities in gradients - A. Čarni, N. Juvan, P. Košir, A. Marinšek, A. Paušič & U. Šilc - pages 54-64

The organismic and the continuous approaches applied to phytosociological relationships in a lowland neotropical forest, Venezuela - J. R. Lozada, J. R. Guevara, P. Soriano & M. Costa - pages 65-73

Toward a framework of integrated knowledge of terrestrial vegetation system: The role of databases of phytosociological relevés - E. Feoli, P. Ganis, R. Venanzoni & V. Zuccarello - pages 74-84

Large vegetation databases and information systems: New instruments for ecological research, nature conservation, and policy making - J. H. J. Schaminée, J. A. M. Janssen, S. M. Hennekens & W. A. Ozinga - pages 85-90

Annual dune plant communities in the Southwest coast of Europe - J. C. Costa, C. Neto, M. Martins & M. Lousã - pages 91-104

A phytosociological survey of the dune forests of the Pacific Northwest - M. Peinado, J. L. Aguirre, M. Á. Macías & J. Delgadillo - pages 105-117

Aquatic Ranunculus communities in the northern hemisphere: A global review - A. Lumbreras, G. Navarro, C. Pardo & J. A. Molina - pages 118-122

The Tamaricetalia order in the Western Mediterranean region - A. Asensi & B. Díez-Garretas - pages 123-131

Riparian Salix alba: Scrubs of the Po lowland (N-Italy) from an European perspective - L. Poldini, M. Vidali & P. Ganis - pages 132-147

Italian black alder swamps: Their syntaxonomic relationships and originality within the European context - G. Sburlino, L. Poldini, R. Venanzoni & L. Ghirelli - pages 148-171

Ravine forests (Tilio-Acerion) of the Iberian Peninsula - J.A. Campos, I. García-Mijangos, M. Herrera, J. Loidi & I. Biurrun - pages 172-179

Relict ecosystems of thermophilous and laurel forest as biodiversity hotspots in Fuerteventura, Canary Islands - V. E. Martín Osorio, W. Wildpret De la Torre & S. Scholz - pages 180-185

Oak forests of Quercus humboldtii in the Caribbean region and distribution patterns related with environmental factors in Colombia - J. Orlando Rangel Ch. & A. Avella - pages 186-198

Classification and ordination of north boreal light-coniferous forests of the West Siberian Plain - N. Ermakov & I. Makhatkov - pages 199-207

Boreal vegetation series of North America - S. Rivas-Martínez & D. Sánchez-Mata - pages 208-219

Syntaxonomic revision and floristic characterization of the phytosociological alliances corresponding to subalpine and alpine grasslands of the Pyrenees and Cantabrian Mountains (classes Caricetea curvulae, Carici-Kobresietea, and Festuco-Seslerietea) - G. Peyre & X. Font - pages 220-232