Vegetation boundaries in riverine forests and their characteristics as ecotones
In contrast to forest communities outside fluvial corridors, considerable inhomogeneities in plant cover can be found in riverine forests, depending on changes in certain driving factors; hydrological and sedimentological parameters are of particular significance for the vegetation. When these factors reach certain limits, sharp changes occur in the composition of plant species. Generally, numerous species are affected by each of these limits, resulting in narrow transition zones between individual types of vegetation showing the properties ofecotones. Spatial inhomogeneities in stands of individual plant species, and the whole vegetation, are described by differentiate functions. Some characteristics of the vegetation in ecotones of riverine forests are illustrated by the composition of plant species and vegetation structure studied in the Austrian Danube lowlands east of Vienna.