Phytosociological studies on high mountain plant communities of the Taurus mountains (Turkey) 2. Rock communities
Hein, Peter; Kürschner, Harald; Parolly, Gerald
The oreal to subnival high mountain rock vegetation (Silenetalia odonto-petalae) of the South Anatolian Taurus has been phytosociologically studied at altitudes ranging from c. 1600 to 3720 m. The present paper is the first revisive large-scale account on this subject, considerably extending and altering the basic syntaxonomic system of Quézel (1973) by describing the three alliances new to science: Campanulion isauricae, Drabion acaulis, and Campanulion cymbalariae. Including the hitherto published Silenion odontopetalae alliance and the Onosmion mutabilis alliance, the rock vegetation of the Western and Central Taurus comprises five major units, which proved to be well differentiated phytogeographically and ecologically. Throughout all of the Taurus, the hygro- to mesophytic hemicryptophyte-rich Campanulion cymbalariae of shady, cool, and damp places stands against four meso- to xerophytic alliances largely made up of chamaephytes and predominantly developed at warm sites under more sunny conditions. Phytogeographically, the xeric rock vegetation series indicate a subdivision of the study area in three parts and a distinct altitudinal arrangement by displaying vicariad alliances. The Silenion odontopetalae marks the Bati Toroslar (Lycian Sector), the Campanulion isauricae the western Orta Toroslar (Pisidian-Isaurian Sector), and the Onosmion mutabilis the eastern range of the Orta Toroslar (Cilician Sector). In the high eastern Central Taurus (Bolkar and Aladağlari) the high-alpine and subnival Drabion acaulis alliance replaces the montane-subalpine Onosmion mutabilis c. above (2700 m) 2900 m. The Anatolian Silenetalia odontopetalae can be combined with the Potentilletalia speciosae of the southern Balkans and Crete into the new Potentillenea speciosae subclass. This syntaxon classifies all Mesogean high mountain rock communities of the East Mediterranean Region and of the western part of Southwest Asia within the Asplenietea trichomanis. In total, five alliances, seven associations, 12 subassociations and eight rankless communities are treated, 20 of the units are described as new. For all known Silenetalia odontopetalae units and subunits a syntaxonomic scheme is given and the ranges of the major syntaxa are figured. The communities presented are additionally characterized by life form and chorotype spectra. The latter reveal a clear Euro-Siberian and northern influence within the hygrophytic Campanulion cymbalariae. By contrast, the xerophytic units are composed of a great proportion of endemics, and East Mediterranean and Irano-Turanian chorotypes of mono- or biregional distribution patterns, thus indicating the Old Mediterranean (Mesogean) origin of the saxatile flora of the high mountain ranges of the South Anatolian Taurus.