Plant Ecology

, Volume 135, Issue 1, pp 113–124

Calibrating Ellenberg indicator values for moisture, acidity, nutrient availability and salinity in the Netherlands

  • A. C. D. Ertsen
  • J. R. M. Alkemade
  • M. J. Wassen

DOI: 10.1023/A:1009765529310

Cite this article as:
Ertsen, A.C.D., Alkemade, J.R.M. & Wassen, M.J. Plant Ecology (1998) 135: 113. doi:10.1023/A:1009765529310


A general calibration of Ellenberg indicator values for moisture, acidity, nutrient availability and salinity was carried out on a large database of relevées and environmental variables from a variety of ecosystems in the Netherlands.

Satisfying relationships with Ellenberg indicator values for moisture, acidity and salinity were found for mean groundwater level in spring time, soil pH and chloride concentration in groundwater. For mean groundwater level in spring and chloride concentration in groundwater subdivision of the database led to clearer relationships with indicator values. For the Ellenberg indicator value for nutrient availability satisfying calibration results were only achieved with data on standing crops and N stock in standing crop. The relationship with soil chemical variables was less clear.

Although the correlation between indicator and measured values is obvious, the variation around the regression lines is considerable. However, because of the size and composition of the database, it is unlikely that our calibration results can be much improved by adding more (Dutch) data.

The calibration results will be applied in the multi-stress model SMART-MOVE, developed to predict changes in species composition due to acidification, eutrophication and the effects of lowering groundwater.

Impact-assessment modelling Indicator values Regression analysis 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. C. D. Ertsen
    • 1
  • J. R. M. Alkemade
    • 2
  • M. J. Wassen
    • 1
  1. 1.The Netherlands Centre for Geo-ecological Research, Functioning of Landscape Ecosystems Research Group, Department of Environmental StudiesUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.National Institute of Public Health and the EnvironmentBilthovenThe Netherlands