This handbook in two volumes synthesises our knowledge about the ecology of Central Europe's plant cover with its 7000-yr history of human impact, covering Germany, Poland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic and Slovakia. Based on a thorough literature review with 5500 cited references and nearly 1000 figures and tables, the two books review in 26 chapters all major natural and man-made vegetation types with their climatic and edaphic influences, the structure and dynamics of their communities, the ecophysiology of important plant species, and key aspects of ecosystem functioning. Volume I deals with forests and scrub vegetation and analyses the ecology of Central Europe's tree flora, whilst Volume II is dedicated to the non-forest vegetation covering mires, grasslands, heaths, alpine habitats and urban vegetation. The consequences of over-use, pollution and recent climate change over the last century are explored and conservation issues addressed.
1. Salt marshes and inland saline habitats.- 2. Sand dunes and their vegetation series.- 3. Mires.- 4. Vegetation of freshwater habitats.- 5. Vegetation of the alpine and nival belts.- 6. Dwarf shrub heaths and Nardus grasslands.- 7. Nutrient-poor dry grasslands.- 8. Agricultural grassland on mesic to wet soils.- 9. Communities on heavy metal-rich soils.- 10. Banks, shorelines and muddy habitats influenced by man.- 11. Ruderal communities on drier soils.- 12. Vegetation of arable fields, gardens and vineyards.- 13. Vegetation of human settlements.- 14. Syntaxonomic overview of the vascular plant communities of Central Europe: Non-forest formations.
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