JBM  Vol.7 No.11 , November 2019
Phytosociology—A Useful Tool for the Assessment of Past and Future Human Impacts on Plants and Forest Ecosystems
The aim of this research was to answer the question of whether the floristic- phytosociological characteristics of the forest communities described in the mid-twentieth century in the Zielonka Experimental Forest (Poland) have changed, and if so, what were the reasons for these changes and what were their environmental and economic consequences. The basis of the research was a comparison of plant community descriptions drawn up in 1957-1961 to descriptions of the states of those communities in 2010-2017. The study showed a significant decrease in the number of plant species. The reasons for the disappearance of some plant communities are seen in the natural or artificial changes of pine in sandy habitats, which evolved towards richer communities. The disappearance of xero-thermophile oak woods had two main causes: a natural cause, which was a consequence of regeneration towards oak-hornbeam woods after the anthropogenic phenomena responsible for their management, and anthropogenic disturbance related to the planting of Fagus sylvatica trees or Prunus serotina. The second case is described more broadly and considers both the positive and negative roles of changing the floristic compositions of forest ecosystems.
Cite this paper: Konatowska, M. and Rutkowski, P. (2019) Phytosociology—A Useful Tool for the Assessment of Past and Future Human Impacts on Plants and Forest Ecosystems. Journal of Biosciences and Medicines, 7, 154-163. doi: 10.4236/jbm.2019.711014.

[1]   Matuszkiewicz, W. (2002) Przewodnik do oznaczania zbiorowisk roslinnych Polski. PWN, Warszawa.

[2]   Pawlowski B. (1977) Sklad i budowa zbiorowisk roslinnych oraz metody ich badania. In: Szafer, W. and Zarzycki, K., Eds., Szata roslinna Polski, PWN, Warszawa.

[3]   Braun-Blanquet, J. (1964) Pflanzensociologie. Grundzüge der Vegetationskunde. 3. Auflage Springer Verlag, Wien.

[4]   Nowaczyk, C. (1964) Zespoly Lesne Nadlesnictwa Doswiadczalnego Zielonka pod Poznaniem. Pr. Kom. Nauk Roln. Kom. Nauk Lesn. PTPN 17, 2, 213-269.

[5]   Fornal-Pieniak, B. and Wysocki, C. (2011) Wybrane metody badań przeksztalceń szaty roslinnej. Acta Sci. Pol., Formatio Circumiectus, 10, 19-26.

[6]   Bakker, J.P., Olff, H., Willems, J.H. and Zobel, M. (1996) Why Do We Need Permanent Plots in the Study of Long-Term Vegetation Dynamics? Journal of Vegetation Science, 7, 147-156.

[7]   Danby, R.K., Koh, S., Hik, D.S. and Prace, L.W. (2011) Four Decades of Plant Community Change in the Alpine Tundraof Southwest Yukon, Canada. AMBIO, 40, 660-671.

[8]   Holzinger, B., Hülber, K., Camenisch, M. and Grabherr, G. (2008) Changes in Plant Species Richness over the Last Century in the Eastern Swiss Alps: Elevational Gradient, Bedrock Effects and Migration Rates. Plant Ecology, 195,179-196.

[9]   Kullman, L. (2007) Long Term Geobotanical Observations of Climate Change Impacts in the Scandes of West-Central Sweden. Nordic Journal of Botany, 24, 445-467.

[10]   Vittoz, P., Randin, C., Dutoit, A., Bonnet, F. and Hegg, O. (2009) Low impact of climate change on subalpine grasslands in the Swiss Northern Alps. Global Change Biology, 15, 209-220.

[11]   Odland, A., Høitomt, T. and Olsen, S.L. (2010) Increasing Vascular Plant Richness on 13 High Mountain Summits in Southern Norway since the Early 1970s. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research, 42, 458-470.

[12]   Becker, T., Spanka, J., Schroder, L. and Leuschner, C. (2017) Forty Years of Vegetation Change in Former Coppice-with-Standards Woodlands as a Result of Management Change and N Deposition. Applied Vegetation Science, 20, 304-313.

[13]   Hedl, R., Bernhardt-Römermann, M., Grytnes, J.-A., Jurasinski, G. and Ewald, J. (2017) Resurvey of Historical Vegetation Plots: A Tool for Understanding Long-Term Dynamics of Plant Communities. Applied Vegetation Science, 20, 161-163.

[14]   Silvertown, J., Poulton, P., Johnston, E., Edwards, G., Heard, M. and Biss, P.M. (2006) The Park Grass Experiment 1856-2006: its contribution to ecology. Journal of Ecology, 94, 801-814.

[15]   Conard, H. and Galligar, G. (1929) Third Survey of a Long Island Salt Marsh. Ecology, 10, 326-336.

[16]   Kapfer, J. and Grytnes, J.-A. (2017) Large Climate Change, Large Effect? Vegetation Changes over the Past Century in the European High Arctic. Applied Vegetation Science, 20, 204-214.

[17]   Archaux, F., Gosselin, F., Berges, L. and Chevalier, R. (2006) Effects of Sampling Time, Species Richness and Observer on the Exhaustiveness of Plant Censuses. Journal of Vegetation Science, 17, 299-306.

[18]   Ross, L.C., Woodin, S.J., Hester, A., Thompson, D.B. and Birks, H.J.B. (2010) How Important Is Plot Relocation Accuracy When Interpreting Re-Visitation Studies of Vegetation Change? Plant Ecology & Diversity, 3, 1-8.

[19]   Alfonsi, E., Benot, M.-L., Fievet, V. and Alard, D. (2017) Addressing Species Turnover and Community Changes in Vegetation Resurvey Studies. Applied Vegetation Science, 20, 172-182.

[20]   Britton, A.J., Hester, A.J., Hewison, R.L., Potts, J.M. and Ross, L.C. (2017) Climate, Pollution and Grazing Drive Long-Term Change in Moorland Habitats. Applied Vegetation Science, 20, 194-203.

[21]   Navratilova, J., Hajek, M., Navratil, J., Hajkova, P. and Frazier, R.J. (2017) Convergence and Impoverishment of Fen Communities in a Eutrophicated Agricultural Landscape of the Czech Republic. Applied Vegetation Science, 20, 225-235.

[22]   Schweiger, A.H. and Beierkuhnlein, C. (2017) The Ecological Legacy of 20th Century Acidification Carried on by Ecosystem Engineers. Applied Vegetation Science, 20, 215-235.

[23]   Heinrichs, S. and Schmidt, W. (2017) Biotic Homogenization of Herb Layer Composition between Two Contrasting Beech Forest Communities on Limestone over 50 Years. Applied Vegetation Science, 20, 271-281.

[24]   Reczyńska, K. and Swierkosz, K. (2017) Compositional Changes in Thermophilous Oak Forests in Poland over Time: Do They Correspond to European Trends? Applied Vegetation Science, 20, 293-303.

[25]   Vild, O., Hedl, R., Kopecky, M., Szabo, P., Suchankova, S. and Zouhar, V. (2017) The Paradox of Long-Term Ungulate Impact: Increase of Plant Species Richness in a Temperate Forest. Applied Vegetation Science, 20, 282-292.

[26]   Bernards, S.J. and Morris, L.R. (2017) Influence of Topography on Long-Term Successional Trajectories in Canyon Grasslands. Applied Vegetation Science, 20, 236-246.

[27]   Giarrizzo, E., Burrascano, S., Chiti, T., de Bello, F., Leps, J., Zavattero, L. and Blasi, C. (2017) Re-Visiting Historical Semi-Natural Grasslands in the Apennines to Assess Patterns of Changes in Spe-cies Composition and Functional Traits. Applied Vegetation Science, 20, 247-258.

[28]   Koch, M., Schröder, B., Günther, A., Kerstin, A., Pivarci, R. and Jurasinski, G. (2017) Taxonomic and Functional Vegetation Changes after Shifting Management from Traditional Herding to Fenced Grazing in Temperate Grassland Communities. Applied Vegetation Science, 20, 259-270.

[29]   Pakeman, R.L., Hewison, R.L. and Lewis, R.J. (2017) Drivers of Species Richness and Compositional Change in Scottish Coastal Vegetation. Applied Vegetation Science, 20, 183-193.

[30]   Matuszkiewicz, W. (2006) Przewodnik do oznaczania zbiorowisk roslinnych Polski. PWN, Warszawa.

[31]   Herezniak, J. (1992) Amerykańskie drzewa i krzewy na nizinach polskich. In: Lawrynowicz M., Warcholińska A. U.: Rosliny pochodzenia amerykańskiego zadomowione w Polsce. Lódzkie Towarzystwo Naukowe. Szlakami Nauki, 19, 97-150.

[32]   Tomanek, J. (1997) Forest Botany (In Polish: Botanika lesna). PWRiL Warszawa.

[33]   Grajewski, S., Jankowski, K. and Licznierski, M. (2010) Czeremcha amerykańska Prunus serotina Ehrh. w polskich lasach na przykladzie drzewostanów Nadlesnictwa Doswiadczalnego Zielonka oraz Nadlesnictwa Szubin. Zarzadz. Ochr. Przyr. w Lasach. Wyd. WSZS w Tucholi, 4, 39-55.

[34]   Konatowska, M. (2018) Porównanie zbiorowisk roslinnych w Nadlesnictwie Doswiadczalnym Zielonka z polowy XX i poczatku XXI wieku. PhD Dissertation.