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The role of plant sociology in the study and management of European forest ecosystems

C Blasi, S Burrascano   

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 6, Issue 2, Pages 55-58 (2013)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor0913-006
Published: Jan 21, 2013 - Copyright © 2013 SISEF

Commentaries & Perspectives


Forest composition is a faithful indicator of the stressors and disturbances that influence forest ecosystems, and it should be accounted for in Sustainable Forest Management policies. Indeed, the classification of forest ecosystems in forest types is considered as a key tool to improve the assessment and monitoring of forest biological diversity, and for the definition of management guidelines. Accordingly, the Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe has recognized the need of developing a pan-European forest classification in forest types, and has identified indicators of Sustainable Forest Management that should be applied by forest types. The classification of vegetation has always been among the main aims of the plant sociology. The quantitative and qualitative analysis of plant species composition, performed through the plant sociological approach, condenses compositional and structural information within a hierarchical system, and expresses all historical, sociological and habitat factors that influence the actual and potential vegetation. In a modern perspective the integration of plant sociology and ecological analysis represents a key to a hierarchical land classification and to the understanding of vegetation dynamics; furthermore the long history of plant sociology determined the availability of large datasets of vegetation data throughout Europe. Starting from these considerations, in this paper we briefly describe how plant sociology could represent a tool for the assessment of the indicators of SFM that should be applied by forest types, giving insights on how this discipline could contribute to the assessment of each of these indicators.

  Keywords


Forest Composition, Land Ecological Classification, Vegetation Dynamics, Indicators, Sustainable Forest Management

Authors’ address

(1)
C Blasi
S Burrascano
Department of Environmental Biology, “La Sapienza” University of Rome, p.le Aldo Moro 5, I-00185, Rome (Italy)

Corresponding author

 

Citation

Blasi C, Burrascano S (2013). The role of plant sociology in the study and management of European forest ecosystems. iForest 6: 55-58. - doi: 10.3832/ifor0913-006

Academic Editor

Marco Borghetti

Paper history

Received: Nov 21, 2012
Accepted: Dec 12, 2012

First online: Jan 21, 2013
Publication Date: Apr 02, 2013
Publication Time: 1.33 months

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