Peer reviewed Publications


Willner, W., Bergmeier, E., Biurrun, I., Dengler, J. & Jansen, F.
A survey of vegetation survey
Phytocoenologia, 48, 1-6, 2018

Wagner, V., Chytrý, M., Jiménez-Alfaro, B., Pergl, J., Hennekens, S., Biurrun, I., Knollová, I., Berg, C., Vassilev, K., Rodwell, J.S., Škvorc, Ž., Jandt, U., Ewald, J., Jansen, F., Tsiripidis, I., Botta-Dukát, Z., Casella, L., Attorre, F., Rašomavičius, V., Ćušterevska, R., Schaminée, J.H.J., Brunet, J., Lenoir, J., Svenning, J.C., Kacki, Z., Petrášová-Šibíková, M., Šilc, U., García-Mijangos, I., Campos, J.A., Fernández-González, F., Wohlgemuth, T., Onyshchenko, V. & Pyšek, P. (2017)
Alien plant invasions in European woodlands.
Diversity and Distributions, 969–981, 2017

Dengler, J., Bergmeier, E., Jansen, F. & Willner, W. (2017)
Phytocoenologia: The leading journal with a focus on vegetation classification.
Phytocoenologia, 47, 1–11, 2017

Wolfgang Willner, Borja Jiminez-Alfaro, Emiliano Agrillo, Idoia Biurrun, Juan Antonio Campos, Andraz Czarni, Laura Casella, János Csiky, Renata Custerevska, Yakiv P. Didukh, Jörg Ewald, Ute Jandt, Florian Jansen, Zygmunt Kacki, Ali Kavgac, Jonathan Lenoir, Aleksander Marinsek, Viktor Onyshchenko, John Rodwell, Joop Schaminée, Jozef Sibik, Zeljko Skvorc, Jens-Christian Svenning, Ioannis Tsiripidis, Pavel Dan Turtureanu, Rossen Tzonev, Kiril Vassilev, Roberto Venanzoni, Thomas Wohlgemuth and Milan Chytrý
Classification of European beech forests: a Gordian Knot?
Applied Vegetation Science, 20, 494-512, 2017

Abstract: Questions: What are the main floristic patterns in European beech forests? Which classification at the alliance and suballiance level is the most convincing? Location: Europe and Asia Minor. Methods: We applied a TWINSPAN classification to a data set of 24 605 relevés covering the whole range of Fagus sylvatica forests and the western part of Fagus orientalis forests. We identified 24 “operational phytosociological units” (OPUs), which were used for further analysis. The position of each OPU along the soil pH and temperature gradient was evaluated using Ellenberg Indicator Values. Fidelity of species to OPUs was calculated using the phi coefficient and constancy ratio. We compared alternative alliance concepts, corresponding to groups of OPUs, in terms of number and frequency of diagnostic species. We also established formal definitions for the various alliance concepts based on the comparison of the total cover of the diagnostic species groups, and evaluated alternative geographical subdivisions of beech forests. Results: The first and second division levels of TWINSPAN followed the temperature and soil pH gradients, while lower divisions were mainly geographical. We grouped the 22 OPUs of Fagus sylvatica forests into acidophytic, meso-basiphytic and thermo-basiphytic beech forests, and separated two OPUs of F. orientalis forests. However, a solution with only two ecologically-defined alliances of F. sylvatica forests (acidophytic vs. basiphytic) was clearly superior with regard to number and frequency of diagnostic species. In contrast, when comparing groupings with three to six geographical alliances of basiphytic beech forests, respectively, we did not find a strongly superior solution. Conclusions: We propose to classify Fagus sylvatica forests into 15 suballiances – 3 acidophytic and 12 basiphytic ones. Separating these two groups at alliance or order level was clearly supported by our results. Concerning the grouping of the 12 basiphytic suballiances into ecological or geographical alliances, as advocated by many authors, we failed to find an optimal solution. Therefore, we propose a multi-dimensional classification of basiphytic beech forests, including both ecological and geographical groups as equally valid concepts which may be used alternatively depending on the purpose and context of the classification.


Milan Chytrý, Stephan M. Hennekens, Borja Jiménez-Alfaro, Ilona Knollová, Jürgen Dengler, Florian Jansen, Flavia Landucci, Joop H.J. Schaminée, Svetlana Acic, Emiliano Agrillo, Didem Ambarlý, Pierangela Angelini, Iva Apostolova, Fabio Attorre, Christian Berg, Erwin Bergmeier, Idoia Biurrun, Zoltán Botta-Dukát, Henry Brisse, Juan Antonio Campos, Luis Carlon, Andraé Czarni, Laura Casella, János Csiky, Renata Cušterevska, Zora Dajic Stevanovic, Jiri Danihelka, Els De Bie, Patrice de Ruffray, Michele De Sanctis, W. Bernhard Dickoré, Panayotis Dimopoulos, Dmytro Dubyna, Tetiana Dziuba, Rasmus Ejrnæs, Nikolai Ermakov, Jörg Ewald, Giuliano Fanelli, Federico Fernández González, Úna FitzPatrick, Xavier Font, Itziar García-Mijangos, Rosario G. Gavilán, Valentin Golub, Riccardo Guarino, Rense Haveman, Adrian Indreica, Deniz Isik Gürsoy, Ute Jandt, John A.M. Janssen, Martin Jiroušek, Zygmunt Kacki, Ali Kavgaci, Martin Kleikamp, Vitaliy Kolomiychuk, Mirjana Krstivojevic Cuk, Daniel Krstonošic, Anna Kuzemko, Jonathan Lenoir, Tatiana Lysenko, Corrado Marcenò, Vassiliy Martynenko, Dana Michalcová, Jesper Erenskjold Moeslund, Viktor Onyshchenko, Hristo Pedashenko, Aaron Pérez-Haase, Tomáš Peterka, Vadim Prokhorov, Valerijus Rašomavicius, Maria Pilar Rodríguez-Rojo, John S. Rodwell, Tatiana Rogova, Eszter Ruprecht, Solvita Rusina, Gunnar Seidler, Jozef Šibík, Urban Šilc, Željko Škvorc, Desislava Sopotlieva, Zvjezdana Stancic, Jens-Christian Svenning, Grzegorz Swacha, Ioannis Tsiripidis, Pavel Dan Turtureanu, Emin Ugurlu, Domas Uogintas, Milan Valachovic, Yulia Vashenyak, Kiril Vassilev, Roberto Venanzoni, Risto Virtanen, Lynda Weekes, Wolfgang Willner, Thomas Wohlgemuth and Sergey Yamalov
European Vegetation Archive (EVA): an integrated database of European vegetation plots
Applied Vegetation Science, 19(1):173-180 January 2016
DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12191

Abstract: The European Vegetation Archive (EVA) has been developed since 2012 by the IAVS Working Group European Vegetation Survey as a centralized database of European vegetation plots. It stores copies of national and regional vegetation-plot databases on a single software platform. Data storage in EVA does not affect the ongoing independent development of the contributing databases, which remain the property of the data contributors. A prototype of the database management software TURBOVEG 3 has been developed for joint management of multiple databases that use different species lists. This is facilitated by the SynBioSys Taxon Database, a system of taxon names and concepts used in the individual European databases and their matches to a unified list of European flora. TURBOVEG 3 also includes procedures for handling data requests, selections and provisions according to the approved EVA Data Property and Governance Rules. By 30 June 2015, 61 databases from all European regions have joined EVA, contributing in total 1 024 236 vegetation plots from 57 countries, 82% of them with geographical coordinates. EVA provides a unique data source for large- scale analyses of European vegetation diversity both in fundamental research and nature conservation applications. Updated information on EVA is available online at


Tomas Peterka, Michal Hájek, Martin Jirousek, Borja Jiménez-Alfaro, Liene Aunina, Ariel Bergamini, Daniel Díte, Ljuba Felbaba-Klushyna, Ulrich Graf, Petra Hájková, Eva Hettenbergerova, Tatiana G. Ivchenko, Florian Jansen, Natalia E. Koroleva, Elena D. Lapshina, Predrag M. Lazarević, Asbjorn Moen, Maxim G. Napreenko, Pawel Pawlikowski, Zuzana Plesková, Lucia Sekulová, Viktor A. Smagin, Teemu Tahvanainen, Annett Thiele, Claudia Bita-Nicolae, Idoia Biurrun, Henry Brisse, Renata Ćusterevska, Els De Bie, Jörg Ewald, Úna FitzPatrick, Xavier Font, Ute Jandt, Zygmunt Kacki, Anna Kuzemko, Flavia Landucci, Jesper E. Moeslund, Aaron Pérez-Haase, Valerijus Rasomavicius, John S. Rodwell, Joop H.J. Schaminée, Urban Silc, Zvjezdana Stancic and Milan Chytrý
Formalized classification of European fen vegetation at the alliance level
Applied Vegetation Science, :1--19, 2016, ISSN: 14022001
DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12271

Abstract: Aims: Phytosociological classification of fen vegetation (Scheuchzerio palustris-Carice- tea fuscae class) differs among European countries. Here we propose a unified vegeta- tion classification of European fens at the alliance level, provide unequivocal assignment rules for individual vegetation plots, identify diagnostic species of fen alli- ances, andmap their distribution. Location: Europe,western Siberia and SE Greenland. Methods: 29 049 vegetation-plot records of fenswere selected fromdatabases using a list of specialist fen species. Formal definitions of alliances were created using the presence, absence and abundance of Cocktail-based species groups and indicator spe- cies. DCA visualized the similarities among the alliances in an ordination space. The ISOPAM classification algorithm was applied to regional subsets with homogeneous plot size to check whether the classification based on formal definitionsmatches the results of unsupervised classifications. Results: The following alliances were defined: Caricion viridulo-trinervis (sub-halo- phytic Atlantic dune-slack fens), Caricion davallianae (temperate calcareous fens), Caricion atrofusco-saxatilis (arcto-alpine calcareous fens), Stygio-Caricion limosae (boreal topogenic brown-moss fens), Sphagno warnstorfii-Tomentypnion nitentis (Sphagnum-brown-moss rich fens), Saxifrago-Tomentypnion (continental to boreo-continental nitrogen-limited brown-moss rich fens), Narthecion scardici (alpine fens with Balkan endemics), Caricion stantis (arctic brown-moss rich fens), Anagallido tenellae-Juncion bulbosi (Ibero-Atlanticmoderately rich fens), Drepanocladion exannulati (arcto-boreal- alpine non-calcareous fens), Caricion fuscae (temperate moderately rich fens), Sphagno-Caricion canescentis (poor fens) and Scheuchzerion palustris (dystrophic hol- lows). The main variation in the species composition of European fens reflected site chemistry (pH,mineral richness) and sorted the plots fromcalcareous and extremely rich fens, through rich andmoderately rich fens, to poor fens and dystrophic hollows. ISOPAMclassified regional subsets according to this gradient, supporting the ecologi- calmeaningfulness of this classification concept on both the regional and continental scale. Geographic/macroclimatic variation was reflected in the second most impor- tant gradient. Conclusions: The pan-European classification of fen vegetation was proposed and supported by the data for the first time. Formal definitions developed here allowcon- sistent and unequivocal assignment of individual vegetation plots to fen alliances at the continental scale.


Viktoria Wagner, Milan Chytrý, David Zeleny, Henrik von Wehrden, Annika Brinkert, Jiri Danihelka, Florian Jansen, Norbert Hölzel, Johannes Kamp, Pavel Lustyk, Kristina Merunkova, Salza Palpurina, Zdenka Preislerova and Karsten Wesche
Regional differences in soil pH niche among dry grassland plants in Eurasia
Oikos, 2016, ISSN: 00301299
DOI: 10.1111/oik.03369

Abstract: Soil pH is a key predictor of plant species occurrence owing to its effect on the availability of nutrients and phytotoxic metals. Although regional differences in realized soil pH niche (‘niche shifts’) have been reported since the 19th century, no study has disentangled how they are influenced by spatial differences in substrate availability, macroclimate, and competitors. We linked plot-level data on species occurrence and measured soil pH from dry grasslands in eight regions across Eurasia (n = 999 plots), spanning a geographic gradient of 6862 km. We calculated regional shifts in niche optimum (Dopt) and width (Dwidth) for 73 Species × Region 1 × Region 2 combinations (SRRs; 38 study species) using extended Huisman–Olff–Fresco models. Next, we used commonality analysis to partition the contribution of substrate availability, precipitation, and species traits indicative of competitive ability to variation in regional niche shifts. Shifts in optimum were rare (5% of SRRs with Dopt ≥ 1 pH units) but many species did not show optima within regions. By contrast, shifts in niche width were common (22% of SRRs with Dwidth ≥ 1 pH units) and there were pronounced interspecific differences. Whereas none of the three predictors significantly explained shifts in niche optimum, common and unique effects by substrate availability and precipitation accounted for 85% of variation in niche width. Our results suggest that substrate availability and precipitation could be the driving factors behind species regional shifts in niche width. Studies that address additional factors, such as other edaphic niches, and their variability at the regional and micro-scale will improve our understanding of the mechanisms underlying species distributions.



Miquel De Caceres, Milan Chytrý, Emiliano Agrillo, Fabio Attorre, Zoltán Botta-Dukát, Jorge Capelo, Bálint Czúcz, Jürgen Dengler, Jörg Ewald, Don Faber-Langendoen, Enrico Feoli, Scott B. Franklin, Rosario Gavilán, François Gillet, Florian Jansen, Borja Jiménez-Alfaro, Pavel Krestov, Flavia Landucci, Attila Lengyel and et al.
A comparative framework for broad-scale plot-based vegetation classification
Applied Vegetation Science, 18(4):543–560, October 2015
DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12179

Abstract: Aims: Classification of vegetation is an essential tool to describe, understand, predict and manage biodiversity. Given the multiplicity of approaches to classify vegetation, it is important to develop international consensus around a set of general guidelines and purpose-specific standard protocols. Before these goals can be achieved, however, it is necessary to identify and understand the different choices that are made during the process of classifying vegetation. This paper presents a framework to facilitate comparisons between broad-scale plot-based classification approaches. Results: Our framework is based on the distinction of four structural elements (plot record, vegetation type, consistent classification section and classification system) and two procedural elements (classification protocol and classification approach). For each element we describe essential properties that can be used for comparisons. We also review alternative choices regarding critical decisions of classification approaches; with a special focus on the procedures used to define vegetation types from plot records. We illustrate our comparative framework by applying it to different broad-scale classification approaches. Conclusions: Our framework will be useful for understanding and comparing plot-based vegetation classification approaches, as well as for integrating classification systems and their sections.


Flavia Landucci, Marcela Reznícková, Katerina Šumberová, Milan Chytrý, Liene Aunina, Claudia Bita-Nicolae, Alexander Bobrov, Lyubov Borsukevych, Andraž Carni, János Csiky, Els De Bie, Dmytro Dubyna, Panayotis Dimopoulos, Tetiana Dziuba, Úna FitzPatrick, Xavier Font, Daniela Gigante, Valentin Golub, Stephan M. Hennekens, Richard Hrivnák, Svitlana Iemelianova, Ute Jandt, Florian Jansen, Zygmunt Kacki, Konrád Lájer, Dalyte Matuleviciute, Attila Mesterházy, Dana Michalcová, Jaanus Paal, Eva Papastergiadou, Alessandro Properzi, Vladimir Randelovic, John S. Rodwell, Joop H.J. Schaminée, Urban Šilc, Zofija Sinkeviciene, Zvjezdana Stancic, Jazep Stepanovich, Boris Teteryuk, Rossen Tzonev, Roberto Venanzoni, Lynda Weekes and Wolfgang Willner
WetVegEurope: a database of aquatic and wetland vegetation of Europe
Phytocoenologia, 45(1/2):187-194, July 2015
DOI: 10.1127/phyto/2015/0050

Abstract: WetVegEurope is a project ( to provide a synthetic formalized classification of aquatic and marsh vegetation across Europe at the level of phytosociological associations. WetVegEurope is also a database created for this project (GIVD ID: EU-00-020, This database contains 375 212 vegetation plots of aquatic, marsh and wet vegetation types from 33 European countries. The data are mainly copies of data sets from pre-existing national and thematic databases, but the database also contains 10 616 new plots previously not digitalized or even not available to the public. This database offers an extensive source of data for future studies of aquatic and marsh plant species and vegetation types at the European scale.


Ulf Schiefelbein, Florian Jansen, Birgit Litterski and Volkmar Wirth
Naturräumlich-ökologische Analyse der Flechtenflora von Deutschland
Herzogia, 28(2):624-653, 2015

Abstract: The lichen flora of Germany has been analysed on the basis of the information by Wirth et al. (2013; Die Flechten Deutschlands) with special emphasis on the species diversity and exclusivity, substrate factors (substrate specifity, pH, nitrogen/eutrophication) and climatic factors (light, humidity), whereas the natural regions form the geographical basis. The natural regions with the highest species diversity are the Bavarian Alps, Black Forest, Odenwald-Spessart, as well as other landscapes with high annual precipitation, namely Eifel, Weser Uplands, Harz, Franconian Jura, Sauerland and Upper Palatine-Bavarian forest. The natural regions with the lowest diversity are located in the south- ern part of the north eastern German lowland. Exclusivity of the species inventory of a natural region is defined as number of species recorded after 1950 in only one or two natural region units. For the whole of Germany, 638 species are known from only one or two landscapes, most of them occurring in Bavarian Alps, Black Forest, Upper Palatine- Bavarian forest, Odenwald-Spessart and Swabian Jura. A total of 47.6 % of the German lichen flora consists of rock-inhabiting species, 31.5 % are mainly on bark of deciduous and coniferous wood, and 15.1 % are predominantly on soil and over mosses on soil. The natural regions with the highest percentage of lichens normally confined to siliceous rocks are in the Fichtel Mountains, Black Forest, Rhön, Ore Mountains and Upper Palatine-Bavarian forest. Most calciphilous lichens occur in Thuringian Basin, Franconian Jura, Swabian Jura, Neckar Plateau and Main-Tauber- Basin. Lichens occurring mainly on acidic soils are most strongly represented in Pleistocene landscapes and lichens occurring usually on base-rich soils are most common in sparsely wooded, basiphilous natural regions (North Harz Foreland, Central German black soil region, Thuringian Basin, Upper Palatine-Upper Main Hills). The natural regions with the highest diversity also host the most hygrophytic lichens. In contrast, base-rich landscapes having only a small fraction of forests are characterized by a higher portion of xerophytic lichens. On the basis of the lichen diversity, sev- eral large groups of natural regions can be distinguished (e. g. natural regions with both acidic and calcareous rocks; natural regions consisting mainly of acidic rocks; calcareous landscapes; Pleistocene landscapes north of the Alps; Pleistocene landscapes in the northern German lowland).


Florian Jansen, Jörg Ewald and Ute Jandt
vegetweb 2.0 - Neuauflage eines Vegetationsdatenportals für Deutschland
Tuexenia, 35:309-319, 2015
DOI: 10.14471/2015.35.015

Abstract: With more than 2.5 million vegetation plots Germany holds probably the biggest treasure of this important biodiversity information. Unfortunately, visibility and accessibility of this heritage remain far behind the technical possibilities and actual international standards. Modernization and development of the national vegetation database vegetweb is a priority which is tackled by a joint project of the biggest database maintainers in Germany. You can access a prototype of the platform at The platform for the disclose and distribution of vegetation data will reach its full operational capacity by the end of 2016. We call on all colleagues to participate actively in the National Vegetation Database for Germany by providing own data or by persuading others to do so.



Christian Berg, Anja Abdank, Maike Isermann, Florian Jansen, Tiemo Timmermann and Jürgen Dengler
Red Lists and conservation prioritization of plant communities – a methodological framework
Applied Vegetation Science, 17(3):504–515, July 2014
DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12093

Abstract: Abstract Aims: Red Lists of threatened species are a well-established conservation tool throughout the world. In contrast, Red Lists of ecosystems, habitats or plant community types have only recently found interest at the global level, although they have a longer tradition in Central Europe. We contribute to the debate by presenting and discussing a comprehensive conservation assessment methodol- ogy for plant communities that was developed within the framework of the pro- ject ‘The plant communities of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and their vulnerability’. Location: Mecklenburg-Vorpommern,Northeast Germany (23,174 km²). Approach: Our approach adopts various concepts frommodern red listing and prioritization at various organizational levels of biodiversity, and combines them into amethodological framework applicable for regional to continental Red Lists of plant communities. For each distinguished plant community, three steps are carried out, i.e. (1) assessment of endangerment (scientific part, using the three criteria ‘past trend’, ‘current status’ and ‘prognosis’), (2) assessment of conserva- tion value (normative part, using the three criteria ‘degree of naturalness’, ‘rele- vance for species conservation’ and ‘global relevance’), and (3) a combination of (1) and (2) to derive a need for action (conservation prioritization). These steps are all based on the successive aggregation of quantitative criteria via decision matrices, which makes the assessment process transparent, avoids definition gaps and allows easy adjustment of the decision rules. Conclusions: Plant community types derived from well-documented classifi- cations of extensive vegetation-plot databases in combination with a trans- parent conservation assessment methodology have great potential in nature conservation and environmental monitoring. We suggest that the presented methodology is an improvement on traditional expert judgments as it sepa- rates the scientific and normative parts of the evaluation and uses clear, quantitative criteria and explicit rules to connect these into aggregated mea- sures. It worked effectively and yielded meaningful results for a German federal state. By adjusting the scaling of the criteria, the approach can be adapted, as a whole or in part, to other regions or higher levels of ecosys- tem typology.


Ane Kirstine Brunbjerg, Jeannine Cavender-Bares, Wolf L. Eiserhardt, Rasmus Ejrnas, Lonnie W. Aarssen, Hannah L. Buckley, Estelle Forey and Florian Jansen
Multi-scale phylogenetic structure in coastal dune plant communities across the globe
Journal of Plant Ecology, 7(2):101-114, April 2014
DOI: 10.1093/jpe/rtt069

Abstract: Aims Coastal dune plant communities occur world-wide under a wide range of climatic and geologic conditions as well as in all biogeographic regions. However, global patterns in the composition of coastal dune plant communities have not previously been quantitatively studied. Here, we assess phylogenetic structure of temperate and subtropical dune plant communities across spatial scales on five continents. Methods We calculated phylogenetic clustering (Net Relatedness Index, NRI) of regional dune floras to estimate the amount of in situ diversification relative to the global dune species pool and evaluated the relative importance of land and climate barriers for these diversification patterns by geographic analyses of phylogenetic similarity. We then tested whether dune plant communities exhibit similar patterns of phylogenetic structure within regions. Finally, we calculated NRI for local communities relative to the regional species pool and tested for an association with functional


Jürgen Dengler, Helge Bruelheide, Oliver Purschke, Milan Chytrý, Florian Jansen, Stephan M. Hennekens, Ute Jandt, Borja Jiménez-Alfaro, Jens Kattge, Valério D. Pillar, Brody Sandel, Marten Winter and et al.
sPlot-the new global vegetation-plot database for addressing trait-environment relationships across the world's biomes
In: L. Mucina (editor), Biodivers. Veg. pattern, Process. Conserv., page 90., Publisher: Kwongan Foundation, Perth, AU, 2014



Ulf Schiefelbein and Florian Jansen

Human impact on the lichen flora of two woody landscapes in Pomerania (Poland, Germany)

Plant Diversity and Evolution, 130(3-4):273–293, December 2013

DOI: 10.1127/1869-6155/2013/0130-0073

Abstract: The comparison of the lichen floras of two landscapes in Northern-Central Europe with almost identical environmental pre-conditions have shown big differences in species composition despite only small differences in air pollution, anthropogenic environmental conditions and historical land-use. The lichen flora in the Drawieński National Park (DNP, Poland) is in general, as well as in almost all habitat types much richer than in the Ueckermünder Heide (UEM, Germany). The DNP inhabits more endangered species and more species bound to old-growth forests than the UEM, whereas the majority of endangered lichens in both areas are sensitive to eutrophication. The species composition in DNP indicates a lower eutrophication level in all habitats and higher humidity in broad-leaved forests. As reasons for the distinction between both areas differences in atmospheric pollution by ammonia and nitric oxides, in drainage of the landscape as well as in forest management are discussed.


Florian Jansen and Jari Oksanen

How to model species responses along ecological gradients? - Huisman-Olff-Fresco models revisited

Journal of Vegetation Science, 24(6):1108–1117, November 2013

DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12050

Abstract: Questions In species response modelling, can a hierarchical logistic regression framework compete against Generalised Additive Models in terms of statistical inference? Are bimodal shapes useful to model species responses along ecological gradients? Location Germany Methods In hierarchical logistic regression modelling (also known as Huisman, Olff, Fresco (HOF) models) the best model is chosen from a set of predetermined models by statistical information criteria, i.e. a balance between model fit to the data and simplicity of the model. We extended the classical five model types with two bimodel shapes. We improved the model optimisation process to inhibit unrealistically steep slopes and abrupt changes. The stability of model choices is safeguarded by bootstrapping. The framework was tested on a dataset of 547 vegetation plots of arable land with measured soil pHKCL. The ability to reproduce known shapes was tested with artificial datasets. Shape parameters like niche width and range, slope (turnover), and species optima can be calculated from the models and used for further analyses. The model framework together with advanced plot functions is included in the package eHOF for the statistical software environment R. Results Based on the Akaike Information Criterion, 66 out of 131 species are modelled with a better compromise between model fit and model complexity by one of the logistic regression models compared to Generalised Additive Models with automatic smoother selection. Within the model framework, 17 species (13 %) are best modelled with one of the new bimodal types. The test with artificial data of known shape reveals a good reliability of eHOF models for unimodal responses in areas with homogeneous information but an increasing uncertainty if the sampling is uneven or if only a part of the response is covered within the observed gradient range. Conclusions Hierarchical logistic regression models offer a flexible way to efficiently fit species response data. They propose a sound theoretical background for ecological interpretation. Extended HOF models as presented here are judged as an effective tool for univariate species response modelling.


Anne Petzold, Tanja Pfeiffer, Florian Jansen, Pascal Eusemann and Martin Schnittler

Sex ratios and clonal growth in dioecious Populus euphratica Oliv., Xinjiang Prov., Western China

Trees, 27(3):729-744, June 2013

DOI: 10.1007/s00468-012-0828-y

Abstract: Using a microsatellite assay, we investigated sex ratios at three levels (apparent, intrinsic, genet) for Populus euphratica stands in Xinjiang, China and possible consequences of sex-specific costs of reproduction in terms of clonal growth and individual growth or mortality. Sex ratios at all levels tended to be male biased (60 % of 3,295 flowering trees were male), although male excess was least pronounced at the genet level (52 % of 850 genets were male). Male clones comprised significantly more (708 vs. 572) trees than female clones. Reproductive investment was measured in terms of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) contents of male and female reproductive organs: single flowers or fruit capsules, whole inflorescences or infructescences, and whole branches of ca. 2 cm diameter. Male flowers and catkins require less N than female fruits and catkins, but on average only 16 % of female catkins develop into fruits. This changes the measured investment for reproduction at branch level: now male branches spent 3.3 times more N than their female counterparts. This coincides with the annual increment of branches, measured as a possible trade-off for costs of reproduction: female branches needed 2 years less to reach a diameter of 2 cm. We conclude that full fruit set of females would give males a heavy comparative advantage, but frequent abortion of whole infructescences by females seems to be a powerful mechanism to compensate a higher reproductive effort, thus avoiding a pronounced runaway effect by more vigorous clonal growth of male trees over a long time.


Jörg Ewald, Stephan Hennekens, Sven Conrad, Thomas Wohlgemut, Florian Jansen, Martin Jenssen, Johnny Cornelis, Hans-Gerd Michiels, Jürgen Kayser, Milan Chytrý, Jean-Claude Gégout, Micahel Breuer, Clemens Abs, Helge Walentowski, Franz Starlinger and Sandrine Godefroid

Spatial and temporal patterns of Ellenberg values for nutrients in forests of Germany and adjacent regions - a survey based on phytosociological databases

Tuexenia, 33:93-109, 2013

Abstract: Within the last 30 years the role of nitrogen in Central European forests has changed fundamentally from limiting resource to environmental problem. As the retrospective tracking of nutrient availability by soil chemical and biogeochemical measurements faces serious problems, bioindication based on understorey species composition is indispensable for monitoring broad-scale eutrophication. Based on a broad survey of more than 100,000 forest vegetation plots accessible in electronic data-bases from Germany and adjacent countries, we calculated unweighted average Ellenberg nutrient values (mN) as a proxy of plant-available macronutrients. Based on the quantiles of the frequency distribution of mN in a regionally stratified sample, we define five trophic classes, which can be used to compare dimensionless mN values. We studied spatial patterns of average nutrient values within 17 regions and compared the periods from 1899 to 1975 and 1976 to 2006. After 1975 eutrophic and hypertrophic conditions were common everywhere except in the Alps and Saxony-Anhalt, but very oligotrophic conditions were still widespread in regions with nutrient-poor bedrock. Before 1975 mN of plots had been lower than after 1975 in all but the southeastern regions. Between the pre- and post-1975 data the proportion of hypertrophic plots increased from 5.7 to 11.8%, and that of very oligo-trophic plots decreased from 14.6 to 8.3%. To remove bias resulting from uneven distribution, the dataset was stratified by five tree layer dom-inance types, period and region and resampled. In pre-1975 plots medians of mN increased in the order Pinus sylvestris, Quercus spp., Picea abies, Fagus sylvatica and Alnus spp, whereas the increase of mN was highest in forest types with historically low nutrient values. Therefore, the widespread change in mN must be attributed to the pronounced vegetation changes in Quercus and Pinus stands, indicating the importance of land-use change, i.e. recovery of nutrient cycles after hundreds of years of exploita-tion through coppicing, grazing and litter use. The analysis confirms eutrophication as a megatrend of modern vegetation change and demonstrates the high research potential of linking vegetation plot databases across large regions.


Dirk Wesuls, Magdalena Pellowski, Sigrid Suchrow, Jens Oldeland, Florian Jansen and Jürgen Dengler

The grazing fingerprint: modelling species responses and trait patterns along grazing gradients in semi-arid Namibian rangelands

Ecological Indicators, 27:61–70, 2013

DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2012.11.008

Abstract: Persistence or disappearance of plants under grazing pressure has led to their categorisation as grazing increasers or decreasers. We aimed to extend this classical indicator concept in rangeland ecology by interpreting the shape of species responses and trait patterns modelled along continuous grazing gradients at different spatial scales. Taking transects of two different lengths, we recorded the cover of vascular plant species along grazing gradients in central Namibian rangelands. We used a hierarchical set of ecologically meaningful models with increasing complexity – the HOF (Huisman-Olff-Fresco) approach – to investigate species’ grazing responses, diversity parameters and pooled cover values for two traits: growth form and life cycle. Based on our modelling results, we classified species responses into eight types: no response, monotonic increasers/decreasers, threshold increasers/decreasers, symmetric unimodal responses, left skewed and right skewed unimodal responses. The most common category was that of no response (42% of the short and 79% of the long transect responses). At both scales, decreaser responses with higher grazing pressure were more frequent than increaser responses. Monotonic and threshold responses were more frequent along the short transects. Diversity parameters showed a slight but continuous decline towards higher grazing intensities. Responses of growth form and life cycle categories were mostly consistent at both scales. Trees, shrubs, dwarf shrubs, and perennials declined continuously. Woody forbs tended to show a symmetric unimodal distribution along the gradients, while herbaceous forbs and annuals showed skewed unimodal responses towards lower grazing intensities. The different grazing response types proposed in this study allow for a differentiated picture of niche patterns along grazing gradients and provide a basis to use species as indicators for a continuum of vegetation states altered by livestock impact. The general decline of plant diversity with increasing grazing intensities highlights the importance of reserves that are less impacted by grazing to support the resilience of the studied system.



Martin Unterseher, Benno Westphal, Norbert Amelang and Florian Jansen

3000 species and no end - species richness and community pattern of woodland macrofungi in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany

Mycological Progress, 11(2):543-554, May 2012

DOI: 10.1007/s11557-011-0769-7

Abstract: In addition to newly generated and continuously growing datasets in mycological research, existing compilations are of high value to assess the fungi of a whole region. In the present study, a private database with ca. 65,000 entries of macromycetous fruit body observations in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany, was analysed. Observed species richness of tree-associated mycorrhizal and saprobic fungi exceeded 3,000 taxa. The total fungal species richness could not be determined with confidence but will possibly exceed 4,000. Distinct species turnover with respect to host trees was observed. However, the rate of community overlap clearly differed between mycorrhizal and saprobic fungi and deciduous and coniferous trees. By separating the data into abundant core species and rare satellite taxa potential indicator species are presented, whose preservation will be beneficial to many other fungi and the entire ecosystems they live in.


Bettina Ohse, Florian Jansen and Martin Wilmking

Do limiting factors at Alaskan treelines shift with climatic regimes?

Environmental Research Letters, 7(1), January 2012

DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/7/1/015505

Abstract: Trees at Alaskan treelines are assumed to be limited by temperature and to expand upslope and/or to higher latitudes with global warming. However, recent studies describe negative temperature responses and drought stress of Alaskan treeline trees in the last decades. In this study, we analyze responses of treeline white spruce to temperature and precipitation according to different climatic regimes in Alaska, described as negative (cool) and positive (warm) phases of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). We found that in three consecutive phases (positve 1925-1946, negative 1947-1976, and again positive 1977-1998), growth responses to temperature and precipitation differed markedly. Before 1947, in a phase of warm winters and with summer temperatures being close to the century mean, trees at most sites responded positively to summer temperature, as one would expect from treeline trees at northern high latitudes. Between 1947 and 1976, a phase of cold winters and average summers, trees showed similar responses, but a new pattern of negative responses to summer temperature of the year prior to growth coupled with positive responses to precipitation of the same year emerged at some sites. As precipitation was relatively low at those sites, we assume that drought stress might have played a role. However, climate responses were not uniform but were modified by regional gradients (trees at northern sites responded more often to temperature than trees at southern sites) and local site conditions (forest trees responded more often to precipitation than treeline trees), possibly reflecting differences in energy and water balance across regions and sites, respectively. However, since the shift in the PDO in 1976 from a negative to a positive phase, the trees’ climate-growth responses are much less pronounced and climate seems to have lost its importance as a limiting factor for growth of treeline white spruce. If predictions of continued warming and precipitation increase at northern high latitudes hold true, growth of Alaskan treeline trees will likely depend on the ratio of temperature and precipitation increase more than on absolute values, as well as on the interaction of periodic regime shifts with the global warming trend. Once a climatic limitation is lifted, other factors, such as insect outbreaks or interspecific competition, might become limiting to tree growth.


Florian Jansen, Falko Glöckler, Miquel De Caceres, Milan Chytrý, Jörg Ewald, Gabriela Lopez-Gonzalez, Jens Oldeland and Jürgen Dengler

News from the Global Index of Vegetation-Plot Databases (GIVD): the metadata platform, available data and their properties

Biodiversity & Ecology, 4:77-82, 2012

DOI: 10.7809/b-e.00061

Abstract: In 2010, we launched the Global Index of Vegetation-Plot Databases (GIVD;, an internet-based resource offering metadata of existing electronic vegetation databases. On 11 May 2012, 182 databases containing more than 2.8 million non-overlapping vegetation plots had been registered in GIVD. The majority of these plots were from European databases (123 databases, 1.87 million plots). The oldest plot record dated from 1864, but the vast majority of the plots had been collected since 1970. Most of the plots had areas between 1 and 1,000 m². A total of 68 databases also stored time series and/or nested-plot data. The vegetation-plot data registered in GIVD constitute a major resource for biodiversity research, not only through the large number of species occurrence records, but especially due to the storage of species co-occurrence information, complemented with site-specific structural data and plot-based environmental data. The increased ease of discovering and accessing such datasets, owing to their registration in GIVD, offers significant opportunities for large-scale studies in areas such as community ecology, macroecology, and global-change research. The results from such studies could be very important for nature conservation practice and policy.


Jürgen Dengler, Walter G. Berendsohn, Erwin Bergmeier, Milan Chytrý, Jiri Danihelka, Florian Jansen, Wolf-Henning Kusber, Flavia Landucci, Andreas Müller, Edoardo Panfili, Joop H.J. Schaminée, Roberto Venanzoni and Eckhard von Raab-Straube

The need for and the requirements of EuroSL, an electronic taxonomic reference list of all European plants

Biodiversity & Ecology, 4:15-24, 2012

DOI: 10.7809/b-e.00056

Abstract: Biodiversity informatics has experienced tremendous developments in the last 15 years. There are now comprehensive online checklists for plant taxa as well as many large plant-taxon related databases, including the vegetation-plot databases registered in the Global Index of Vegetation-Plot Databases (GIVD; However, efficient maintenance, analysis, and inte- gration of these databases are still much impeded by the failure of presently available electronic taxonomic reference lists of plants to fully meet the requirements of such applications. Here we outline the principal specifications of an electronic taxonomic reference list for Europe (“EuroSL” = European standard list of plant taxa) and identify features not met in current practice. EuroSL should cover all macroscopic taxa of vascular plants, bryophytes, lichens, and algae that occur in European vegetation in a uniform database, irrespec- tive of their floristic status (e.g. native, archaeophyte, neophyte, casual). The adoption of informal aggregates is essential to cover de- viating species concepts and to capture legacy data. EuroSL should not only assign names but also match taxonomic concepts. This task cannot be fully automated, as the same correctly applied taxon name can have different meanings depending on the taxonomic concept applied. In order to be a useful tool, EuroSL would need to be better documented than most existing electronic checklists and be released in fixed versions. Every subsequent version should contain an unambiguous connection linking each taxon to the corre- sponding unit in the previous version. We identify possible components of EuroSL, of which Euro+Med PlantBase, the recent Euro- pean checklists of bryophytes, and the taxonomic crosswalks between various national Turboveg checklists collected for SynBioSys Europe, are the major ones. Concepts developed for GermanSL might be adopted for EuroSL, but implemented in a software frame- work that is yet to be developed from existing tools. Such a framework would allow documented editing of the content by specialists distributed across Europe. To become successful, EuroSL would require intensive collaboration between taxonomists, ecologists and biodiversity informaticians, as well as appropriate funding. Establishing EuroSL would dramatically enhance the usability and reliabil- ity of plant-taxon related databases in Europe for the purposes of pure and applied research and conservation legislation. Its develop- ment should therefore be of highest priority.


Florian Jansen, Christian Berg and Jürgen Dengler

VegMV - The vegetation database of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

Biodiversity & Ecology, 4:149-160, 2012

DOI: 10.7809/b-e.00070

Abstract: The phytosociological database of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (NE Germany) with its electronically stored vegetation relevés is reviewed. The database was established in 1994 and is now hosted at the Institute of Botany and Landscape Ecology, University of Greifswald, Germany ( On 27 October 2011, the database contained 53,842 relevés, mostly from the federal state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, collected by approx. 320 authors between 1928 and 2010. Some 28% of the relevés were taken from published papers or monographs, 42% from theses and 30% from various unpublished reports and “field books”. All kinds of habitats of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern are represented but territorial coverage by relevés is irregular, with lower coverage of less attractive and poorly accessible areas. The largest numbers of relevés are from managed grasslands (Molinio-Arrhenatheretea), arable land (Stellarietea mediae), and eutrophic reed communities (Phragmito-Magno-Caricetea). We quantify and discuss possible bias in the data, such as preferential selection of sampling sites (habitat and small scale preferences), taxonomic inconsistencies, spatial agglomeration, and missing values for some data elements. We present a brief introduction to the consistent phytosociological vegetation classification for which the data has been used. Further applications of the data and the conditions for their use are reported.


Jan Beck, Liliana Ballesteros-Mejia, Carsten M. Buchmann, Jürgen Dengler, Susanne Fritz, Bernd Gruber, Christian Hof, Florian Jansen, Sonja Knapp, Holger Kreft, Anne-Kathrin Schneider, Marten Winter and Carsten F. Dormann

What’s on the horizon of macroecology? - Present status and future perspectives

Ecography, 35(8):673-683, 2012

DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0587.2012.07364.x


Abstract: Over the last two decades, macroecology – the analysis of large-scale, multi-species ecological patterns and processes – has established itself as a major line of biological research. Analyses of statistical links between environmental variables and biotic responses have long and successfully been employed as a main approach, but new developments are due to be utilized. Scanning the horizon of macroecology, we identified four challenges that will probably play a major role in the future. We support our claims by examples and bibliographic analyses. 1) Integrating the past into macroecological analyses, e.g. by using paleontological or phylogenetic information or by applying methods from historical biogeography, will sharpen our understanding of the underlying reasons for contemporary patterns. 2) Explicit consideration of the local processes that lead to the observed larger-scale patterns is necessary to understand the fine-grain variability found in nature, and will enable better prediction of future patterns (e.g. under environmental change conditions). 3) Macroecology is dependent on large-scale, high quality data from a broad spectrum of taxa and regions. More available data sources need to be tapped and new, small-grain large-extent data need to be collected. 4) Although macroecology already lead to mainstreaming cutting edge statistical analysis techniques, we find that more sophisticated methods are needed to account for the biases inherent to sampling at large scale. Bayesian methods may be particularly suitable to address these challenges. To continue the vigorous development of the macroecological research agenda, it is time to address these challenges and to avoid becoming too complacent with current achievements.



Jürgen Dengler, Florian Jansen, Falko Glöckler, Robert K. Peet, Miquel De Caceres, Milan Chytrý, Jörg Ewald, Jens Oldeland, Manfred Finckh, Laco Mucina, Joop Schaminée and Nick Spencer

The Global Index of Vegetation-Plot Databases (GIVD): a new resource for vegetation science

Journal of Vegetation Science, 22(4):582–597, August 2011

DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2011.01265.x

Abstract: Questions: How many vegetation-plot records (relevés) are available in electronic databases, how are they distributed in terms of geography, what are their properties and how might they discovered and obtained for use in subsequent studies? Location: Global. Methods: We compiled the Global Index of Vegetation-Plot Databases (GIVD;, an internet-based resource aimed at registration of metadata on existing vegetation databases. For inclusion, databases need to (i) contain temporally and spatially explicit species co-occurrence data and (ii) be accessible to the scientific public. This paper summarizes the structure and data quality of the databases registered in GIVD as by 22 September 2010. Results: On the given date, 108 databases containing more than 2.3 million independent plots had been registered in GIVD. The majority of these data are contained in European databases (71 databases, 1.5 million plots), whereas other continents are represented by substantially smaller numbers (North America 13 databases, South America 6, Africa 8, Asia 8, Oceania 2, multi- continental 1). The oldest plot record dates from 1864, but the vast majority of the plots have been collected since 1970. Most of the plots report vegetation on an area of 1–1000 m². Some databases also store time series and nested-plot data. Apart from the geographic reference (required for inclusion), information was provided for the listed plots frequently on altitude (44%), slope and inclination (35%), and land use (26%), but rarely on soil properties (all less than 7%). Conclusions: The vegetation-plot data registered in GIVD constitute a major resource for biodiversity informatics, both through the large number of species occurrence records and, unlike most other datasets, the storage of species co-occurrence information at a small scale, combined with structural data and plot-based environmental data. We identify some short comings in available data that still need to be addressed (sampling underrepresented geographic regions, providing better incentives for data collection and sharing, developing user-friendly exchange standards between databases, as well as tools to analyse and remove confounding effects of sampling biases). However, the increased ease of discoverability and availability of such datasets conferred by registration in GIVD offers significant opportunities for large-scale studies in areas such as community assembly, macroecology, and global-change research. Fo rR ev iew On ly


Jan Peper, Florian Jansen, Dorothea Pietzsch and Michael Manthey

Patterns of plant species turnover along grazing gradients

Journal of Vegetation Science, 22(3):457-466, June 2011

DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2011.01260.x

Abstract: Questions: How are plant species distributed along grazing gradients? What is the shape of species richness patterns? How can we test for the existence of potential discontinuities in species turnover pattern? Location: Semi-deserts in the eastern Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Gobustan district. Methods: We studied the distribution of vascular plant species along transects of 900 m length perpendicular to five farms and estimated grazing intensity as current livestock units per distance. We modelled species response curves with Huismann-Olff-Fresco (HOF) models and calculated species turnover by cumulating the first derivatives of all response curves. To test for potential discontinuities in changes of vegetation composition along the grazing gradient, we introduce a new null model based on the individualistic continuum concept that uses permutations of the observed pattern of species responses. Results: Most species show a sigmoidal negative response to grazing intensity, while only few species respond with a unimodal pattern. The monotonic decrease in species richness with increasing grazing intensity marks a process of overgrazing that leads to the complete extirpation of plant species. Although the species turnover pattern shows a clear peak, it does not deviate significantly from the null model of individualistic continuous changes. Conclusions: Our approach offers a method of differentiating between transition zones and continuous shifts in species composition along ecological gradients. It also provides a valuable tool for rangeland management to test state-and-transition concepts and gives deeper insights into ecological processes affected by grazing.


Florian Jansen, Jürgen Dengler, Falko Glöckler, Milan Chytrý, Jörg Ewald and Jens Oldeland

Die mitteleuropäischen Datenbanken im Global Index of vegetation-plot databases (GIVD)

Tuexenia, 30:351–367, 2011

Abstract: The Global Index of Vegetation-Plot Databases (GIVD) is a metadatabase of vegetation databases worldwide that was initiated by an international Steering Committee in 2010 and that is hosted on a server in Greifswald. GIVD aims at providing a better overview on the growing number of vegetation- plot databases and increasing their accessibility for overarching analyses. In this article, we analyse which data from central Europe (including the Benelux countries) are available in GIVD. On 20 March 2011, 1.35 million of the total 2.45 million registered relevés originated from one of the covered twelve countries. With more than 600,000 digitally available relevés, corresponding to a density of 18 km–2, the Netherlands are globally leading in this respect.


Frank Mirschel, Stefan Zerbe and Florian Jansen

Driving factors for natural tree rejuvenation in anthropogenic pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) forests of NE Germany

Forest Ecology and Management, 261(3):683-694, 2011

DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2010.11.025

Abstract: The rejuvenation ecology of three main tree species in anthropogenic pine (Pinus sylvestris L. forests is explored in our study. We focus on the scale of micro-plots, which provide the safe sites for tree rejuvenation. We thrive on the multi-factorial relationship of tree establishment and driving ecological factors using a large dataset from pine stands in NE Germany and applying multivariate analyses. The success of the establishment of the investigated focal tree species Fagus sylvatica L., Quercus petraea Liebl. and Pinus sylvestris L. is, on general, mostly affected by three factors, i.e. water balance of the upper soil layers, browsing pressure, and diaspore sources. Our investigations on the micro-plot scale revealed species-specific differences. For beech saplings < 50 cm growth height, primarily the availability of water, indicated by available water capacity (AWC), thickness, quality, and structure of the organic layer, silt and humus content in the topsoil, and the lack of a dense competitive herb layer, were identified as most important factors. On the contrary, oak seems hardly be restricted by hydrologic and/or trophic deficits in the topsoil or humus layer. In conclusion and comparison to Fagus sylvatica L., we assume for Quercus petraea Liebl. advantages in natural regeneration processes under sub-continental climate conditions and thus under the scenarios of climate change. Pinus sylvestris L. regeneration in our investigation area occurs only in a narrow niche. We conclude with regard to future forest development and the objective of stand conversion with low management intensity that oak should be favoured within natural stand regeneration.


Florian Jansen, Jörg Ewald and Stefan Zerbe

Ecological preferences of alien plant species in North-Eastern Germany

Biological Invasions, 13(12):2691-2701, 2011

DOI: 10.1007/s10530-011-9939-4

Abstract: The large, comprehensive vegetation database of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern/NE Germany with 51,328 relevés allowed us to study an entire regional flora of 133 non-native plants (NNP, immigration after 1492 AD) with regard to their preferences to all kinds of habitats and along different ecological gradients. For each relevé, we computed average Ellenberg indicator values (EIV) for temperature, light, moisture, reaction, nutrients and salt as well as plant strategy type weights. We partitioned the dataset into relevés with and without occurrences of NNP and compared them with respect to the relative frequencies of EIVs and strategy type weights. We identified deviations from random differences by testing against permuted indicator values. To account for bias in EIV between community types, NNP preferences were differentiated for 34 phytosociological classes. We tested significance of preferences for the group of NNP as a whole, as well as for single NNP species within the entire dataset, as well as differentiated by phytosociological classes and formations. NNP as a group prefer communities with high EIVs for temperature and nutrients and low EIVs for moisture. They avoid communities with low EIV for reaction and high EIV for salt. NNP prefer communities with high proportions of ruderal and low proportion of stress strategists. The differentiation by phytosociological classes reinforces the general trends for temperature, nutrients, moisture, R and S strategy types. Nevertheless, preferences of single species reveal that NNP are not a congruent group but show individualistic ecological preferences.



Florian Jansen and Jürgen Dengler

Plant names in vegetation databases - a neglected source of bias

Journal of Vegetation Science, 21(6):1179–1186, 2010

DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2010.01209.x



Abstract: Problem: The increasing availability of large vegetation databases holds great potential in ecological research and biodiversity informatics, However, inconsistent application of plant names compromises the usefulness of these databases. This problem has been acknowledged in recent years, and solutions have been proposed, such as the concept of “potential taxa” or “taxon views”. Unfortunately, awareness of the problem remains low among vegetation scientists. Methods: We demonstrate how misleading interpretations caused by inconsistent use of plant names might occur through the course of vegetation analysis, from relevés upward through databases, and then to the final analyses. We discuss how these problems might be minimized. Results: We highlight the importance of taxonomic reference lists for standardizing plant names and outline standards they should fulfill to be useful for vegetation databases. Additionally, we present the R package vegdata, which is designed to solve name-related problems that arise when analysing vegetation databases. Conclusions: We conclude that by giving more consideration to the appropriate application of plant names, vegetation scientists might enhance the reliability of analyses obtained from large vegetation databases.



Florian Jansen, Stefan Zerbe and Michael Succow

Changes in landscape naturalness derived from a historical land register - a case study from NE Germany

Landscape Ecology, 24(2):185-196, 2009

Abstract: To detect landscape changes along a time gradient enhances the understanding of patterns and processes on the landscape level, in particular with regard to anthropogenic impact. Additionally, this provides important information for many purposes of applied landscape ecology, e.g. sustainable land-use development and landscape conservation. The comparison of human induced changes with a hypothetical landscape state without human impact (potential natural state) can be applied for landscape assessments such as, e.g. the landscape naturalness. In our study, we analyzed a landscape in NE Germany which is representative for the Pleistocene landscapes in Northern Central Europe. In order to reconstruct the state 300 years ago, we used the Swedish land survey of Swedish-Pomerania which is the first detailed mapping in this area at the end of the 17th century and contains supplement comments in text books. We were able to reconstruct the landscape ecological features with regard to vegetation cover, water supply, nutrient supply, and anthropogenic disturbances. We carried out a vegetation mapping of the present-day landscape in order to compare the two time slices. Our methodological approach thus enables us, to (1) get a detailed insight into land use and site ecology 300 years ago, (2) to quantify human impact on the landscape level with regard to different time slices, and (3) to assess the naturalness of the landscape. Our results show that in the present-day landscape the average deviance from the potential natural state is twice as high as in the historical landscape 300 years ago.



Florian Jansen and Jürgen Dengler

GermanSL - Eine universelle taxonomische Referenzliste für Vegetationsdatenbanken in Deutschland

Tuexenia, 28:239-253, 2008


Abstract: Die GermanSL ist eine universelle elektronische Referenzliste für die Flora Deutschlands, welche von der Sektion „Taxonomische Referenzlisten“ innerhalb des Netzwerkes Phytodiversität Deutschland (NetPhyD) entwickelt und Anfang 2008 in der Version 1.0 der Öffentlichkeit zugänglich gemacht wurde. Neben der Nutzung für einzelne Vegetationsdatenbanken soll sie die leichte Verknüpfung verschiedener solcher Datenbanken untereinander und mit anderen artbezogenen Datenbanken (z. B. floristische Kartierung, plant functional traits) fördern. Die GermanSL basiert auf den publizierten Referenzlisten der botanischen Großgruppen in Deutschland, die erforderlichenfalls in genau dokumentierter Weise korrigiert oder ergänzt wurden. Sie stellt damit keine neue taxonomische Sicht dar, sondern kompiliert die vorhandenen und macht sie nutzbar. Die GermanSL enthält aktuell rund 30.000 angenommene Namen und Synonyme von Gefäßpflanzen, Moosen, Flechten und Algen, taxonomische Informationen wie die Zugehörigkeit zu übergeordneten Taxa sowie eine Auswahl an Artattributen (Zeigerwerte, Rote-Liste-Status). Die Liste steht als Excel-Datei und in einer Version für das vegetationskundliche Datenbankprogramm TURBOVEG zum kostenlosen Download bereit. Wir rufen alle interessierten Kollegen zur aktiven Mitarbeit bei der Pflege und Ergänzung der GermanSL auf.



Jürgen Dengler, Christian Berg and Florian Jansen

New ideas for modern phytosociological monographs

Annali di Botanica Nuova Serie, 5:49-66, 2005



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Other Publications


Florian Jansen, Erwin Bergmeier, Jürgen Dengler, Monika Janišová, Pavel Krestov and Wolfgang Willner

Vegetation classification: a task of our time

Phytocoenologia, 46(1):1-4, May 2016, ISSN: 0340269X

DOI: 10.1127/phyto/2016/0134



Erwin Bergmeier, Jürgen Dengler, Monika Janisová, Florian Jansen, Pavel Krestov, Jan Role&#263;ek, Donald A. Walker and Wolfgang Willner

Re-launch of Phytocoenologia: new profile for the classic vegetation ecology journal

Phytocoenologia, 45(1-2):1-10

DOI: 10.1127/phyto/2015/0069



Jürgen Dengler, Helge Bruelheide, Oliver Purschke, Milan Chytrý, Florian Jansen, Stephan M. Hennekens, Ute Jandt, Borja Jiménez-Alfaro, Jens Kattge, Valério D. Pillar, Brody Sandel, Marten Winter and et al.

sPlot-the new global vegetation-plot database for addressing traitenvironment relationships across the world's biomes

In L. Mucina (editor), Biodivers. Veg. pattern, Process. Conserv, page 90., Publisher: Kwongan Foundation, Perth, A, 2014


Florian Jansen

Bayesian statistics in ecology - quantifying our uncertainty


Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät, Universität Greifswald, 2014



Florian Jansen and Jörg Ewald

Einstufung der Waldbindung epigäischer Moose mit Hilfe statistischer Auswertungen von Vegetationsdatenbanken

In Marcus Schmidt, Wolf-Ulrich Kriebitzsch and Jörg Ewald (editor)

Waldartenliste der Farn- und Blütenpflanzen, Moose und Flechten Deutschlands

Volume 299 of BfN-Skripten, page 46-52, Publisher: BfN, Bonn-Bad-Godesberg, 2011, ISBN: 978-3-89624-034-7


Helga Bültmann, Peter Scholz, Dietmar Teuber, Tassilo Feuerer, Petra Fischer, Steffen Boch, Johannes Heribert Bradtka, Rainer Cezanne, Christian Dolnik, Uwe Drehwald, Marion Eichler, Jörg Ewald, Thilo Heinken, Carsten Hobohm, Florian Jansen, Wolf-Ulrich Kriebitzsch, Götz Heinrich Loos, Volker Otte, Alexander Paul, Christian Printzen, Marcus Schmidt, laurens Sparrius and Gunnar Waesch

Waldartenliste der Flechten Deutschlands

In Marcus Schmidt, Wolf-Ulrich Kriebitzsch and Jörg Ewald (editor)

Volume 299 of BfN-Skripten, page 89-107, Publisher: BfN, Bonn-Bad-Godesberg, 2011, ISBN: 978-3-89624-034-7


M. Preussing, U. Drehwald, M. Koperski, H. Thiel, G. Waesch, M. Baumann, Christian Berg, H. Dierschke, C. Dolnik, O. Dürhammer, Jörg Ewald, A. Fischer, H. Grünberg, T. Heinken, Florian Jansen, H.-U. Kison, J. Klawitter, W.-U. Kriebitzsch, G.H. Loos, Michael Manthey, J. Müller, A. Paul, M. Reimann, M. Schmidt, W. Schmidt, K.M. Stetzka, D. Teuber, U. Teuber, A. Wagner, I. Wagner, M. Weckesser, S. Winter, T. Wolf and M. Wolf

Waldartenliste der Moose Deutschlands

In Marcus Schmidt, Wolf-Ulrich Kriebitzsch and Jörg Ewald (editor)

Waldartenlisten der Farn- und Blütenpflanzen, Moose und Flechten Deutschlands

Volume 299 of BfN-Skripten, page 75-88, Publisher: BfN, Bonn-Bad-Godesberg, 2011, ISBN: 978-3-89624-034-7



Florian Jansen, Anja Abdank, Annett Adler and Heike Barth

Interaktive Floristische Funddatenbanken in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

Naturschutzarbeit in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, 52(2):59-64, 2010



Jörg Ewald, Florian Jansen and Michael Manthey

8. Workshop der Arbeitsgruppe Vegetationsdatenbanken zum Thema ”Bioindikation” in Greifswald

Tuexenia, 29:441-443, 2009


Florian Jansen

Der Studiengang Landschaftsökologie und Naturschutz an der Universität Greifswald

Forum der Geoökologie, 20(1):45-46, 2009



Ingo Koska, Florian Jansen and Tiemo Timmermann

Standortsökologische Bioindikation mit Hilfe des Vegetationsformenkonzeptes

Tuexenia, Beiheft, 1:33-49, 2008


Stefan Zerbe and Florian Jansen

Vergleich verschiedener Managementstrategien zur Renaturierung anthropogener Kiefernbestände in Brandenburg

Florian Jansen

Shape of species responses: Huisman-Olff-Fresco models revisited

In L. et al. Mucina (editor), Frontiers of Vegetation Science ? An Evolutionary Angle, page 80-81, Publisher: Keith Phillips Images, Somerset West, 2008, ISBN: 978-0-9584766-9-0



Michael Manthey and Florian Jansen

Species packing under different disturbance levels

In L. Mucina, J.M. Kalwij, V.R. Smith, M. Chytrì, P.S. White, S.S. Cilliers, V.D. Pillar, M. Zobel and I.-F. Sun (editor), Frontiers of Vegetation Science-An Evolutionary Angle, page 111-112, Publisher: Keith Phillips Images, 2008



Florian Jansen

Ansätze zu einer quantitativen historischen Landschaftsökologie

Volume 394, Publisher: Borntraeger, Dissertationes Botanicae edition, 2005, ISBN: 3-443-64307-8



Florian Jansen

Ansätze zu einer quantitativen historischen Landschaftsökologie

Dissertation, Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät, Universität Greifswald, 2005




Jens Päzolt and Florian Jansen

Klasse Molinio-Arrhenatheretea

In Christian Berg, Jürgen Dengler, Anja Abdank and Maike Isermann (editor), Die Pflanzengesellschaften Mecklenburg Vorpommerns und ihre Gefährdung - Textban, page 336-353, Publisher: Weissdorn, Jena, 2004


Ingo Koska, Ute Clausnitzer, Florian Jansen and Michael Manthey

Pflanzensoziologie und Vegetationsformenkonzept

In Christian Berg, Jürgen Dengler, Anja Abdank and Maike Isermann (editor), Die Pflanzengesellschaften Mecklenburg-Vorpommerns und ihre Gefährdung - Textban, page 51-53, Publisher: Weissdorn, Jena, 2004



Jürgen Dengler, Christian Berg, M Eisenberg, Maike Isermann, Florian Jansen, Ingo Koska, S Löbel, Michael Manthey, Jens Päzolt, Almut Spangenberg, Tiemo Timmermann and Heinrich Wollert

New descriptions and typifications of syntaxa within the project 'Plant communities of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and their vulnerability' - Part I

Feddes Repertorium, 114:587-631, 2003


Christian Köppel, Florian Jansen, J. Burton, Martin Schnittler and Norbert Hirneisen

A statistical survey on European Red Lists

In HHd longh, OS Bánki, W Bergmans and MJvdWt Bosch (editor), The harmonization of red Lists for threatened species in Europe. Proceedings of an International Seminar 27 and 28 November 2002, page 59-75, Publisher: The Netherlands Commission for International Nature Protection, Leiden, 2003


Florian Jansen

Anthropogene Landschaftsveränderungen im Vergleich zwischen 1700 und heute - Ein historisch landschaftsökologischer Vergleich auf Basis der Schwedischen Matrikelkarten von Vorpommern

In O. Bastian et al (editor), Bewertung und Entwicklung der Landschaft, page 181-192, Publisher: Leibniz-Institut für ökol. Raument. e.V., Dresden, 2003



Ingo Koska, Michael Manthey and Florian Jansen

Weiterentwicklung des Vegetationsformenkonzeptes

In Botanisches Institut der Ernst-Moritz-Arnst-Universität, Landesforstanstalt Eberswalde and Landesamt für Forsten und Großschutzgebiete Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (editor)

„Naturräumliche Grundlagen der Landnutzung“ und „Weiterführung der Naturraumkunde“, Festkolloquium vom 20.04.2001. Eberswalde, page 195-222, Publisher: Landesforstanstalt Eberswalde, Eberswalde, 2002



Ingo Koska, Florian Jansen, Ute Clausnitzer, Dieter Gremer, Michael Manthey and Tiemo Timmermann

Das Vegetationsformenkonzept: Integration von Vegetation und Standort in einem Klassifikationsverfahren

Berichte der Reinhold-Tüxen-Gesellschaft, 13:257-263, 2001


Florian Jansen

300 Jahre Landnutzung in Vorpommern

In Ulrich Harteisen, Alexandra Schmidt and Monika Wulf (editor)

Kulturlandschaftsforschung und Umweltplanung: Fachtagung an der Fachhochschule Hildesheim/Holzminden/Göttingen am 9. - 10. November 2000 in Göttingen, page 145-148, Publisher: GC, Herdeck, 2001


Florian Jansen and Michael Succow

Ausgewählte Beispiele der 'Anthropogenese' von Mooren Nordostdeutschlands - Die Ziese-Niederung

In Michael Succow and Hans Joosten (editor), Landschaftsökologische Moorkund, Chapter, page 443-452, Publisher: Schweizerbart, Stuttgart, 2 edition, 2001


Florian Jansen and Jens Päzolt

Klasse Molinio-Arrhenatheretea

In Christian Berg, Jürgen Dengler and Anja Abdank (editor), Die Pflanzengesellschaften Mecklenburg-Vorpommerns und ihre Gefährdung - Tabellenban, page 144-156, Publisher: Weissdorn, Jena, 2001, Note: Weissdorn



Florian Jansen

Standortsveränderung und Kohlenstoffbilanz der Zieseniederung

Petermanns Geographische Mitteilungen, 143(5+6):387-400, 1999


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