, Volume 81, Issue 1-2, pp 107-115

Syntaxonomy of the Onopordum acanthium communities in temperate and continental Europe

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Ruderal communities dominated by Onopordum acanthium are encountered in those regions of Europe with a dry and continental climate. Variability in the climate and local phytogeography within these regions is reflected in the floristic variability of the communities studied. A floristic cline within the communities was summarised by means of multivariate classification and ordination methods. Two associations distributed in temperate Europe and belonging to the Onopordetalia, the Onopordetum acanthii s.str. and Carduo acanthoidis-Onopordetum acanthii, were distinguished; The Carduo acanthoidis-Onopordetum is varied and occurs in several geographic races and sub-races. The Onopordetum acanthii s.str. is confined to deep inner-montane valleys with a continental climate. The other Onopordum acanthium communities described from Spain belong to the Scolymo hispanici-Onopordetalia nervosi.