Geographia Polonica (2012) vol. 85, iss. 2

Geographical pattern of chosen soil and herb layer features of central- and north European Scots pine forests

Jerzy Solon, Marek Degórski

Geographia Polonica (2012) vol. 85, iss. 2, pp. 83-95 | Full text

This paper defines the relationships between geographical location (which determines macroclimatic differentiation andreflects the history of the vegetation), soils (which determine hydrolytic acidity, degree of base saturation and organiccarbon content), and selected characteristics of vegetation (species richness, herb layer biomass, moss layer biomass)in one type of forest community, namely, pine forests of the Vaccinio-Piceetea class. The study area covers the majorpart of the European domain of pine forests, from 70.15°N (Norway) to 50.35°N (Poland) and from 12.02°E (Sweden)to 33.6°E (Russia). The geographical pattern shows the following correlations: (a) a rise in the number of vascular plantspecies in the herb layer as one moves from west to east and from north to south; (b) no significant relationship betweengeographical location and the biomass of the herb layer, but it is possible to divide the study area into two parts: centralScandinavia, characterized by a high level of biomass, and the rest of the area, characterized by lower herb layerbiomass; (c) a south-north increase in the standard deviation of herb layer biomass (serving also as a measure of spatialheterogeneity of the forest floor in terms of the synusial structure of the community); (d) greater biomass of the bryophyte(moss+lichen) layer in the north than in the south and in the east than in the west; (e) stability at lower latitudes ofstandard deviation for moss biomass (serving also as a measure of spatial heterogeneity of the forest floor in terms ofthe synusial structure of the community), albeit with a sharp increase north of latitude 55°N.

Keywords: Vaccinio-Piceetea, species richness, species biomass, geographical pattern, European pine forests, gradients

Jerzy Solon [], Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization Polish Academy of Sciences, 00-818 Warsaw, Twarda 51/55, Poland
Marek Degórski [m.degor@twarda.pan.p], Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization Polish Academy of Sciences Twarda 51/55, 00-818 Warsaw: Poland