, Volume 8, Issue 6, pp 767-786

Phytogeographic and syntaxonomic diversity of high mountain vegetation in Dinaric Alps (Western Balkan, SE Europe)

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Abstract

The high alpine and subalpine vegetation of Dinaric Alps is very diverse. These are conditional on genuine patterns of development of the geological substrate, climate, soil and terrain on the mountain world, which are interconnected and spatially, and ecologically away. Also, today high mountain vegetation is extremely important indicator of global changes. In this area are many refugia of glacial biodiversity. Very illustrative example for understanding the specific forms of ecological diversity is high alpine vegetation in the area of the Balkan Peninsula. Vegetation of alpine belt of Western Balkans and Bosnia and Herzegovina is differed by extremely high level of biological and ecological diversity. Climatogenous vegetation are alpine and sub-alpine pastures above of timberline, then extra zonal forms of vegetation — glaciers, rock creeps, breaches of rocks, alpine springs, marsh, and tall greenery. This vegetation is dominant determinant of alpine ecosystems that creates their unique physiognomy and also enables prime production of biomass. It is different with extraordinary floral richness, especially in a number of endemic species and glacier relicts that are included in a large number of phytocoenoses, many of which are of endemic. In syntaxonomic sense, alpine vegetation is differentiated into 10 classes: Elyno-Seslerietea, Juncetea trifidi, Salicetea herbaceae, Thalspietea rotundifolii, Asplenietea trichomanis, and Scheuchzerio-Caricetea fuscae, Montio-Cardaminetea, Loiseleurio-Vaccinietea, Mulgedio-Aconitetea and Molinio-Arrhenatheretea. These classes are differentiated into 20 vegetation orders, 38 alliances and 190 associations and sub-associations. In total, that is 60 % of communities of total vegetation diversity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and 12.5% of classes of highest syntaxonomic categories in vegetation diversity of Europe.