Sphagnum – Polytrichum turf hummocks in the Western Carpathians
Turf hummocks co-dominated by Polytrichum formosum and Sphagnum capillifolium arise in different ecosystems – alpine heaths, raised bogs and minerotrophic mires. They share common features – with a conjoint origin, ombrotrophy and their separation from substrata. Many studies have looked at turf hummocks, but the question of whether to classify the turf hummocks separately or not is still unsolved. The study area was within the Western Carpathians, from mires in the bottoms of basins, rising to the alpine belt where 79 phytocoenological relevés were submitted for numerical classification. The standard procedures of the Zürich-Montpellier School were used and the CANOCO 4.5 package served for all numerical analysis. The new association Vaccinio vitis-idaei – Sphagnetum capillifolii consisting of two subassociations: typicum and eriophoretosum vaginati is suggested. We propose to include the turf hummock communities developed in the mires and fens within the alliance Oxycocco – Empetrion hermaphrodity. The formation of turf hummocks is closely related to their decomposition, and is independent of substratum. They are raised above the influence of ground water and head towards more or less similarity in chemistry and in the floristical composition, i. e. codominance of Polytrichum formosum and Sphagnum capillifolium. The turf hummocks communities bear distinct azonal features.
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