Vegetation with Aira praecox in the Czech Republic compared to its variability in Western Europe
Černý, Tomáš Petřík; Boublík, Karel; Kolbek, Jiří
New phytosociological material of xero- and psammophytic vegetation dominated by the annual grass Aira praecox is presented for the Czech Republic. Such vegetation type has not been yet published in the Czech Republic, however Airetum praecocis has already been reported in the national checklists. For the correct syntaxonomical evaluation, the relevant data dealing with similar vegetation from the centre of its distribution range in north-western Europe were selected. In the Czech Republic, only the Airetum praecocis and the Vulpietum myuri can be distinguished. Within the Airetum praecocis, two subassociations (typicum and plantaginetosum lanceolatae) are distinguished, differing by their successional age. The Vulpietum myuri is broadly distributed in the Czech Republic representing only a marginal vegetation type with populations of Aira praecox. Based on the European review, six associations were distinguished within alliances Corynephorion canescentis, Thero-Airion and Armerion elongatae. The structure, composition, ecology, and distribution of these associations are discussed. Successional age of sand swards and soil mineral content are the main ecological gradients responsible for the vegetation variability. The Airetum praecocis prefers the centre of these environmental gradients. Its floristic composition is poor on the proportion of psammophytes, conversely, it shares common meadow species.