Vegetation classification as a mirror of evolution? Thoughts on the syntaxonomy and management of bramble scrubs of the Prunetalia (Rhamno-Prunetea)

Rense Haveman*, Iris de Ronde

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In Germany and the Netherlands, many bramble scrub associations are distinguished on the basis of the occurrence of Rubus species. The associations belonging to the Prunetalia spinosae Tüxen 1952 are usually assigned to the Pruno-Rubion radulae Weber Osnabr Naturwiss Mitt 3:143–150, 1974, but published tables show inconsistencies in the occurrence of alliance character species. In this paper, we compare synoptic tables from different sources from the Netherlands and Germany. From this comparison, it is concluded that the associations can be divided over two alliances, the Pruno-Rubion radulae in central Europe, and the Pruno-Rubion sprengelii Weber Osnabr Naturwiss Mitt 3:143–150, 1974 in northwest Europe (excluding the UK). The differential species of both these alliances coincide to a considerable degree with the indicator species of the phytogeographical Rubus territories as defined by Haveman et al. (J Biogeogr 43:1360-1371, 2016). As can be deduced from recent molecular studies (Sochor et al. Mol Phylogenet Evol 89:13-27, 2015), these territories have an evolutionary background. This is an effect of the unsaturated distribution areas of a large portion of the very young Rubus agamospecies. The same holds true for the two alliances: although they have a different ecology, we argue that their current distribution areas are not a reflection of this ecology, but both their ecology and distribution area are caused by different evolutionary developments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-404
Number of pages10
JournalBiologia
Volume74
Issue number4
Early online date15 Mar 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019

Keywords

  • Apomicts
  • Inherited ecology
  • Pruno-Rubion radulae
  • Pruno-Rubion sprengelii
  • Rubus
  • Vegetation geography
  • Vegetation history

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