Vegetation of trampled soil dominated by C4 plants in Europe
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Plant communities of trampled soil dominated by plants characterized by the C4-assimilation syndrome were investigated in Europe. These species, belonging to genera such as Chamaesyce, Amaranthus, Eleusine, Eragrostis and Setaira, are themophilous, late-geminating, prostrate herbs or grasses. The centre of their distribution is in the (Sub)Tropics. A syntaxonomic revision of the phytosociological material from Europe (incl. the Macaronesian Archipelago) revealedthree alliances: the Euphorbion prostratae from Spain, the Polycarpo-Eleusinion indicae from Italy, and Slovenian and Croatian Istria, and the Eragrostio-Polygonion arenastri from temperate regions of Europe. The latter two syntaxa are described as new. All three alliances belong to the orderEragrostietalia (class Stellarietea mediae). Vicarious (ecologically analogous) communities occur also in southern Africa, eastern Asia and North America. The communities studied in the present paper are considered to be an impoverished form of highly diversified trampled plant communities typical of (sub)tropical areas.
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