Original paper

On the nomenclature of some high-rank syntaxa of European forest vegetation

Willner, Wolfgang; Theurillat, Jean-Paul; Pallas, Jens; Mucina, Ladislav


We present a detailed nomenclatural analysis of the class names Carpino-Fagetea, Querco-Fagetea, Quercetea robori-sessiliflorae, Quercetea ilicis and Vaccinio-Piceetea. The current literature presents contradictory opinions about the legitimacy and correct author citation of these names, often motivated by deviating interpretations of the International Code of Phytosociological Nomenclature. This primarily concerns the provisions of Articles 2b, 3j, 3m and 35 which can be interpreted in quite different ways, leading to divergent conclusions on the validity and legitimacy of a name. Thus, the problems discussed in this paper are of general relevance for phytosociological nomenclature, highlighting the need for amendments and clarifications to be implemented in the next edition of the Code. Moreover, we suggest establishing a formal procedure to request a binding decision on specific cases to stabilise the interpretation of the Code.


international code of phytosociological nomenclaturequerco-fageteaquercetea ilicisquercetea robori-sessilifloraevaccinio-piceeteacarpino-fagetea