Advertisement

Phytosociological relationships in European Union policy-related habitat classifications

  • John Stanley Rodwell
  • Doug Evans
  • Joop H. J. Schaminée
Vegetation Science and Habitats Directive

Abstract

Over the past half century, nature protection in the European Union has been increasingly controlled by commitments to policy and legislative frames, notably the Habitats Directive, originating from the European Union and adopted by an enlarging constituency of member states. Habitat (or biotope) classifications developed in association with these policies, first the Palaearctic habitat classification and CORINE, then the EUNIS habitat classification, have provided typologies with definitions of habitat types intended to aid their recognition, mapping, protection and monitoring. Phytosociological expertise and classifications of formally defined plant communities or syntaxa have played a part in the development of these typologies and in interpretation of the Habitats Directive from the start, though this involvement has been complex and sometimes unclear. This paper catalogues this history and shows how the development of increasingly robust definitions of EUNIS habitat types, an overarching European framework of phytosociological syntaxa and very substantial point-source data (relevés) are converging to aid the interpretation and delivery of environmental policy. In particular, crosswalks between EUNIS habitat types and syntaxa, lists of constant, differential and dominant species, standardised habitat descriptions as well as distribution, predictive and indicative maps are now becoming available. The European Red List of Habitats, also based on the EUNIS typology, provides images and other complementary information on distribution, pressures and threats and a Red List assessment. A comprehensive factsheet with complementary fuller environmental parameterisation for each EUNIS habitat type remains a realistic goal.

Keywords

CORINE EUNIS Habitats Directive Palaearctic habitats classification Phytosociology Red List 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to colleagues within and beyond the European Vegetation Survey for their many contributions to the developments described in this paper and to the European Commission, the European Environment Agency and the European Topic Centre on Biological Diversity for funding the various initiatives enabling phytosociological expertise to help interpret and deliver European environmental policy.

References

  1. Biondi E, Burrascano S, Casavecchia S, Copiz R, Del Vico E, Galdenzi D, Zivkovic L (2012) Diagnosis and syntaxonomic interpretation of Annex I Habitats (Dir. 92/43/EEC) in Italy at the alliance level. Plant Sociol 49(1):5–37Google Scholar
  2. Braun-Blanquet J (1928) Pflanzensoziologie. Grundzüge der Vegetationskunde. Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  3. Bunce RGH, Bogers MMB, Evans D, Halada L, Jongman RHG, Mucher CA, Bauch B, de Bust G, Parr TW, Olsvig-Whittaker L (2013) The significance of habitats as indicators of biodiversity and their links to species. Ecol Indic 33:19–25CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. CEC (1985) European Communities Council Decision 85/338/EEC of 27 June 1985. Off J Eur Communities L 176,6,7:14–17Google Scholar
  5. CEC (1991a) Supplementary annexes to the proposal for a council directive on the protection of natural and semi-natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora COM/90/59final. Off J C1295:1–22Google Scholar
  6. CEC (1991b) Modified proposal for a council directive on the protection of natural and semi-natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora COM/91/27final. Off J C75:12–22Google Scholar
  7. CEC (1992) Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora. Off J L206:7–50Google Scholar
  8. Chytrý M, Kučera T, Kočí M, Grulich V, Lustyk P (eds) (2010) Katalog biotopů České republiky. Agentura Ochrany Přírody A Krajiny České Republiky, PragueGoogle Scholar
  9. Chytrý M, Hennekens SM, Jiménez-Alfaro B, Knollová I, Dengler J, Jansen F, Landucci F, Schaminée JH et al (2016) European Vegetation Archive (EVA): an integrated database of European vegetation plots. Appl Veg Sci 19:173–180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Davies CE, Moss D (1998) EUNIS habitat classification. Final report to the European topic centre on nature conservation, with further revisions on marine habitats. European Environment Agency, CopenhagenGoogle Scholar
  11. Davies CE, Moss D (1999) EUNIS habitat classification. Final report to the European Topic Centre on Nature Conservation. European Environment Agency, CopenhagenGoogle Scholar
  12. Davies CE, Moss D, Hill MO (2004) EUNIS habitat classification 2004. European Environment Agency, CopenhagenGoogle Scholar
  13. Dengler J, Jansen F, Glöckler F, Peet RK, De Cáceres M, Chytrý M, Spencer N (2011) The Global Index of Vegetation-Plot Databases (GIVD): a new resource for vegetation science. J Veg Sci 22:582–597CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Devillers P, Devillers-Terschuren J (1986) Draft list of habitats of the European Community, integrating document SN-VS (84) of the Council of Europe. In: Ribaut JP et al. (eds) Computer applications in the field of nature conservation CDSN-Inf (86) 1. Strasbourg, Council of Europe, pp 11–34Google Scholar
  15. Devillers P, Devillers-Terschuren J (1993) A classification of Palaearctic habitats, nature & environment No78. Council of Europe, StrasbourgGoogle Scholar
  16. Devillers P, Devillers-Terschuren J (1996) A classification of Palaearctic habitats, nature & environment No78. Council of Europe, StrasbourgGoogle Scholar
  17. Devillers P, Devillers-Terschuren J, Ledant JP (1991) Corine biotopes manual, habitats of the European community. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, LuxembourgGoogle Scholar
  18. Devillers P, Devillers-Terschuren J, Vander Linden C (2001) PHYSIS Palaearctic habitats classification, Updated to 10 December 2001. Institut Royal des Sciences naturelles de Belgique, Brussels. http://cb.naturalsciences.be/databases/cb_db_physis_eng.htm. Accessed 6 Nov 2017
  19. Donita N, Popescu A, Pauca-Comanescu M, Mihailescu S, Biris IA (2005) Habitatele din România. Editura Tehnica Silvica, BucharestGoogle Scholar
  20. EC (2013) Interpretation Manual of European Union habitats—EUR28. DG Environment, BrusselsGoogle Scholar
  21. European Environment Agency (2008) International Workshop on CORINE biotopes. European Environment Agency, CopenhagenGoogle Scholar
  22. Evans D (2006) The habitats of the European Union habitats directive. Proc R Irish Acad 106B(3):167–173CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Evans D (2010) Interpreting the habitats of Annex I: past, present and future. Acta Bot Gallica 157(4):677–686CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Evans D (2012) The EUNIS habitats classification—past, present & future. Revista de Investigación Marina 2012 19(2):28–29Google Scholar
  25. Evans D, Demeter A, Gajdos P, Halada L (2013) Adapting legislation for an enlarged European Union: experience from the habitats directive. Environ Conserv 40(2):97–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Géhu J-M (1984) Classification des écosystèmes d’Europe, Doc SN-VS (84)3. Council of Europe, StrasbourgGoogle Scholar
  27. Géhu J-M (1991) L’analyse symphytosociologique et géosymphytosociologique de l’espace. Théorie et méthodologie. Colloques Phytosociologiques 17:11–46Google Scholar
  28. Gubbay S, Sanders N, Haynes T, Janseen JAM, Rodwell JS, Nierto A, Garcia Criado M, Beal S, Borg J, Kennedy M, Micu D, Otero M, Saunders G, Calix M (2016) European Red List of Habitats Part 1. Marine HabitatsGoogle Scholar
  29. Haigh N (1987) EEC environmental policy and Britain. Longman, LondonGoogle Scholar
  30. Hennekens SM, Schaminée JHJ (2001) TURBOVEG, a comprehensive data base management system for vegetation data. J Veg Sci 12:589–591CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hill MO, Moss D, Davies CE (2004a) EUNIS habitat classification descriptions. European Topic Centre on Nature Conservation, ParisGoogle Scholar
  32. Hill MO, Moss D, Davies CE (2004b) Revision of habitat descriptions originating from Devillers et al. (2001). European Topic Centre on Nature Conservation, ParisGoogle Scholar
  33. IUCN (2016) Guidelines for the application of the IUCN red list of ecosystems categories and criteria, Version 1.0. In: Bland LM, Keith DA, Murray NJ, Miller R, Rodriguez JP (eds) International Union for Conservation of Nature, GlandGoogle Scholar
  34. Janssen JAM, Rodwell JS, García Criado M, Gubbay S, Haynes T, Nieto A, Sanders N, Landucci F, Loidi J, Ssymank A, Tahvanainen T, Valderrabano M, Acosta A, Aronsson M, Arts G, Attorre F, Bergmeier E, Bijlsma R-J, Bioret F, Biţă-Nicolae C, Biurrun I, Calix M, Capelo J, Čarni A, Chytrý M, Dengler J, Dimopoulos P, Essl F, Gardfjell H, Gigante D, Giusso del Galdo G, Hájek M, Jansen F, Jansen J, Kapfer J, Mickolajczak A, Molina JA, Molnár Z, Paternoster D, Piernik A, Poulin B, Renaux B, Schaminée JHJ, Šumberová K, Toivonen H, Tonteri T, Tsiripidis I, Tzonev R, Valachovič M (2016) European Red List of Habitats. Part 2: Terrestrial and freshwater habitats. European Commission, Brussels. DG Environment Brussels/Alterra, Wageningen, p 78Google Scholar
  35. Moss D (2005) How was EUNIS habitats constructed? How were the original divisions made and levels decided? Unpublished memorandumGoogle Scholar
  36. Moss D, Roy D (1998) Towards a European habitat classification, background review 1989–1995. European Topic Centre on Nature Conservation, ParisGoogle Scholar
  37. Moss D, Wyatt B (1991) CORINE biotopes manual, EUR/12587/3. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, LuxembourgGoogle Scholar
  38. Moss D, Wyatt B (1994) The CORINE biotopes project: a database for conservation of nature and wildlife in the European community. Appl Geogr 14:327–349CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Mucina L (1997) Conspectus of classes of European vegetation. Folia Geobotanica et Phytotaxonomica 32:117–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Mucina L, Bültmann H, Dierßen K, Theurillat J-P, Raus T, Čarni A, Šumberová K, Willner W, Dengler J, Gavilán García R, Chytrý M, Hájek M, Di Pietro R, Iakushenko D, Pallas J, Daniëls FJA, Bergmeier E, Santos Guerra A, Ermakov N, Valachovič M, Schaminée JHJ, Lysenko T, Didukh YP, Pignatti S, Rodwell JS, Capelo J, Weber HE, Solomeshch A, Dimopoulos P, Aguiar C, Hennekens SM, Tichý L (2016) Vegetation of Europe: hierarchical floristic classification system of vascular plant, bryophyte, lichen, and algal communities. Appl Veg Sci 19(Suppl. 1):3–264CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Noirfalise A (1987) Map of the natural vegetation of the member countries of the European Community and the Council of Europe. Office for Official Publications of the European Community, LuxembourgGoogle Scholar
  42. Rivas-Martínez S (1976) Sinfitosocología, una nueva metodología para el studio del paisaje vegetal V. Anales del Instituto Botánico A J Cavanilles 33:179–188Google Scholar
  43. Rodwell JS, Dring J (2001) European significance of British woodland types. English Nature Research Report 460. English nature, PeterboroughGoogle Scholar
  44. Rodwell JS, Dring J, Pignatti S, Schaminée JHJ, Mucina L (1998) Scientific background to the EUNIS habitat classification: phytosociological relationships of EUNIS habitats. Unit of Vegetation Science Report to the European Topic Centre/Nature Conservation, LancasterGoogle Scholar
  45. Rodwell JS, Schaminée JHJ, Mucina L, Pignatti S, Dring J, Moss D (2002) The diversity of European vegetation. National Reference Centre for Agriculture, Nature and Fisheries, WageningenGoogle Scholar
  46. Rodwell JS, Morgan V, Jefferson RG, Moss D (2007) The European context of British lowland grasslands. JNCC Report 394. Joint Nature Conservation Committee, PeterboroughGoogle Scholar
  47. Rodwell JS, Janssen JAM, Gubbay S, Schaminee JHJ (2013) Red list assessment of European habitat types. A feasibility study. Report to to the European Commission, DG Environment, BrusselsGoogle Scholar
  48. Schaminée JHJ, Hennekens SM, Chytrý M, Rodwell JS (2009) Vegetation-plot data and databases in Europe: an overview. Preslia 81:173–185Google Scholar
  49. Schaminée JHJ, Chytrý M, Hennekens SM, Mucina L, Rodwell JS, Tichý L (2012) Development of vegetation syntaxa crosswalks to EUNIS habitat classification and related data sets. Report to the European Environmental Agency, Copenhagen. Alterra, WageningenGoogle Scholar
  50. Schaminée JHJ, Chytrý M, Hennekens SM, Jiménez-Alfaro B, Mucina L, Rodwell JS, Tichý L (2013) Review of EUNIS forest habitat classification. Report for the European Environmental Agency, Copenhagen. Alterra, WageningenGoogle Scholar
  51. Schaminée JHJ, Chytrý M, Hennekens SM, Janssen JAM, Jiménez-Alfaro B, Knollová I, Mucina L, Rodwell JS, Tichý L (2014) Vegetation analysis and distribution maps for EUNIS habitats. Report for the European Environmental Agency (EEA/NSV/14/006), Copenhagen. Alterra, WageningenGoogle Scholar
  52. Schaminée JHJ, Chytrý M, Hennekens SM, Janssen JAM, Jiménez-Alfaro B, Knollová I, Marcenò C, Mucina L, Rodwell JS, Tichý L, Data Providers (2015) Review of grassland habitats and development of distribution maps of heathland, scrub and tundra habitats of EUNIS habitats classification. Alterra, WageningenGoogle Scholar
  53. Schaminée JHJ, Chytrý M, Dengler J, Hennekens SM, Janssen JAM, Jiménez-Alfaro B, Knollová I, Landucci F, Marcenò C, Rodwell JS, Tichý L, Data Providers (2016) Development of distribution maps of grassland habitats of EUNIS habitat classification Report to the European Environment Agency (EEA/NSS/16/005). Alterra, WageningenGoogle Scholar
  54. Schwabe A (1990) Stand und Perspektiven der Vegetationskomplexforschung. Berichte der Reinhold Tüxen-Gesellschaft 2:45–60Google Scholar
  55. Ssymank A, Hauke U, Rückriem C, Schröder E unter Mitarbeit von Messer D (1998) Das europäische Schutzgebietssystem Natura 2000. BfN-Handbuch zur Umsetzung der Fauna-Flora-Habitat-Richtlinie und der Vogelschutz-Richtlinie. Landschaftspflege und Naturschutz Heft 53. Bundesamt für Naturschutz, BonnGoogle Scholar
  56. Thanghe M (1993) Étude relative au projet de manuel technique d’interprétation de l’Annexe I de la Directive habitats 92/43/CEE. Rapport final, Septembre 1933. Contrat no 4-3040(92)15504. Université Libre de Bruxelles, BruxellesGoogle Scholar
  57. Thanghe M (1995) Étude relative au projet de manuel technique d’interprétation de l’Annexe I de la Directive habitats 92/43/CEE—Types d’habitats non prioritaires. Rapport final, Janvier 1995. Contrat no B4-3040(94)000212/MAR/B2. Université Libre de Bruxelles, BruxellesGoogle Scholar
  58. Tichý L (2002) JUICE, software for vegetation classification. J Veg Sci 13:451–453CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Tüxen R (1937) Die Pflanzengesellschaften Nordwestdeutschlands. Mitteilungen der Floristisch-Soziologischen Arbeitsgemeinschaft in Niedersachsen 3:1–170Google Scholar
  60. Tüxen R (1973) Vorschlag zur Aufnahme von Gesellschaftskomplexen in potentiell natürlichen Vegetationseinheiten. Acta Bot Acad Sci Hung Sci Hung 19:379–384Google Scholar
  61. Waterton C, Grove-White R, Rodwell JS, Wynne B (1995) CORINE: databases and nature conservation—the new politics of information in the European Union. Lancaster University Centre for the Study of Environmental Change, LancasterGoogle Scholar
  62. Wyatt B (1982) Biotopes of significance for nature conservation, unpublished report XI/94/83. Commission of the European Communities, BrusselsGoogle Scholar
  63. Wyatt B, Cabot D, ten Houte de Lange S, Koeppel H, Pinborg U, de Beaufort F, Ribaut JP (1982) Biotopes of significance for Nature Conservation, as amended by the adaptation Committee of Directive 79/409/EEC. Commission of the European Communities, BrusselsGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LancasterUK
  2. 2.European Topic Centre on Biological DiversityParis Cedex 05France
  3. 3.Wageningen Environmental ResearchWageningenThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations