Soil Acidity pp 183-202 | Cite as

Effects of Soil Acidity on Plant Associations

  • M. Runge
  • M. W. Rode


The dependence of vegetation on soil acidity is a conspicuous phenomenon in humid climates that has been described in a vast number of publications. Most striking is the difference in vegetation between soils rich in calcium carbonate with pH ≧ 6 [CO2/carbonate-buffer range, according to Ulrich (1981)] and soils poor in calcium, with pH ≦ 4 (aluminium- and iron-buffer range). Only very few plant species grow equally well in both buffer ranges. Species occurring exclusively in the former range are known as calcicole and species occurring only in the latter range are known as calcifuge (Hope Simpson 1938). In comparison to these extreme groups the majority of species displays a more or less intermediate occurrence. A closer examination reveals, however, that even these species can be grouped according to their respective distribution within the whole pH-span of humid climate soils (Ellenberg 1979). This means, on the other hand, that these groupings make it possible to use species or plant associations as indicators of soil acidity.


Biomass Permeability Toxicity Corn Europe 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Runge
  • M. W. Rode
    • 1
  1. 1.Systematisch-Geobotanisches Institut der Universität Untere Karspüle 2GöttingenGermany

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