Nom du corpus

Corpus Systématique Végétale

Titre du document

Fagus silvatica L. und das aceri-fagetum an der alpinen Waldgrenze in Mitteleuropäischen gebirgen

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Springer (journals)
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Type de document
Mots-clés d'auteur
  • Aceri-Fagetum
  • Alpine timberline
  • Dynamics of stands
  • Ecology
  • Fagus silvatica
  • Morphogenesis
  • Polycormons
  • Vegetative regeneration
Nom du fichier dans la ressource
  • J. Fanta
  • Postbus 40777, 1009 BT, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

In the Central Europaean mountain ranges, the alpine timberline is usually formed by Picea abies or by other conifers (Larix decidua, Pinus mugo, Pinus cembra). Unlike in the East Europaean mountains, the Balkan Peninsula, the Europaean Mediterranean and Les Vosges, Fagus silvatica occurs sporadically on the alpine timberline in this area where it forms very specific woods. This type of the alpine timberline is bound to the association Aceri-Fagetum (Bartsch 1940, Moor 1952). This association is found on the highest sites of the Fagion alliance in the subalpine vegetation zone. Within this zone, the association is bound to localities with heavy snowfall and a submaritime climat. It occupies larger areas in the Swiss Jura and in Les Vosges. In other Central Europaean mountains (the Alps, Schwarzwald, Krkonoše etc.) it occus in isolated areas only. Many trunk deformations and bush forms are found with Fagus on a large scale in the snow impacted localities (steep slopes, periphery of corries, avalanche slopes etc.). Crawling and sliding snow causes these growth deformations in the Fagus seedlings since their first year. The general increase of the vegetative propagation is a remarkable and exceptional response of Fagus in adapting to these extreme growth conditions. Under alpine timberline conditions, the generative propagation is very limited. The vegetative shoots with adventitious root systems are formed mainly from branches layering in the humus. The typical monocormonal tree-form of Fagus from lower altitudes turns in this way into a polycormon. From an evolutionary point of view, it is a suitable substitution; but from the ecological viewpoint, however, it is a sturdy growth form. In its typical form, the polycormon is formed by a number of vegetative shoots, which may be deformed but are very elastic and resistent. The number of shoots in a polycormon varies from 3–5 below, and up to 40–50 at and above the timberline. They are formed by shoots of a number of filial successions. The decay of a polycormon results from decreasing vitality of single shoots or, very often, it is caused by the impact of snow and ice. Considering, however, the fact that single shoots have a sufficient adventitious root system and are thus physiologically independent, the dying of the other shoots does not mean a danger for the existence of the remaining part of the polycormon. The age of a polycormon as a whole is difficult to determine. Fagus polycormons can be considered as a typical growthform of the highest sites of the association Aceri-Fagetum. No other tree species is able to form close stands under these conditions. This phenomenon is of primary importance for the existence of this plant community. The unusual character of the structure and dynamics of the highest Aceri-Fagetum stands gives rise to a special type of the alpine timberline which should be understood not as a ‘line’ but as a transitional zone between the closed stands and the hon-wooded plant communities of the subalpine vegetation zone. The dynamic succession of the Fagus polycormons guarantees the stability of the Fagus stands forming the alpine timberline.

Catégories INIST
  • 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
  • 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
  • 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie
Catégories Scopus
  • 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Plant Science
  • 1 - Physical Sciences ; 2 - Environmental Science ; 3 - Ecology
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