Features of secondary birch young stands in low mountain Pokuttya (Ukrainian Carpathian mts.)

  • S. Y. Milevskaya Institute of Ecology of the Carpathians of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
Keywords: vegetation, syntaxons, birch forests, flora, Potentillae albae-Quercetum


Forest landscapes of the region during the last 3–5 centuries undergone the profound anthropogenic transformation. Secondary young stands occupy 25% of the total forest area. The problem of derivatives is particularly relevant for the modern forest typology in the Carpathian region. It requires the reflection in its dynamic trends shaping the stands, especially mixed young stands. The aim of our study consisted in getting the knowledge of the structural features of the secondary phytocoenosis of birch young stands in this area.The object of the study was age class I saplings growing in the mountainous part of Pokuttya, particularly in the basin of the Lutshka River. The conceptual basis of our study is the modern dynamic vision that every forest type is a consecutive series of forest plant communities within each type of homogeneous growing conditions. We apply methods of ecological-floristic research of the Brown-Blanke school in the interpretation of the Polish school phytosociology. However we also take into account both syntaxonomy generalizations of the Ukrainian scientists. The actual material comprises the original geobotanical studies with fixation of the vast majority of species in plant communities. Mainly the species having diagnostic value to separate syntaxons were taken into account in the analytical processing. Young forest stands (with the height of 8–12 m and crown cover of 70%) together form the trees Betula pendula and B. pubescens. Fairly numerous admixture is formed by trees Alnus incana; besides, there are Fagus sylvatica, Populus tremula, Quercus robur, Padus avium. For dominants, they can be called “grey-alder birch blackberry sedge bracken fern” – Betula pendula+Alnus incana–Rubus caesius–Carex brizoides+Pteridium aquilinum. It is rich in floristic composition of the plant communities. They contain at least 12 species of trees, 3 species of shrubs, 4 species of bushes and 89 species of herbs. Diagnostic species evidence the belonging of such groups to the class of Middle European broad-leaved forest Querco-Fagetea. However, there is a reason to believe that they are close to the class of sour oligotrophic and mesotrophic Atlantic deciduous forests Quercetea robori-petraeae. 12 diagnostic species confirm belonging of these groups to the order Fagetalia sylvaticae represented by the European mesophytic deciduous forests. At the level of unions of plant communities no clear association was found. Most of the diagnostic species in phytocenoses under study indicate proximity of the floristic composition of the plants to association Potentillo albae-Quercetum which represents light subcontinental oak forest. 


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