Dynamics of bog-pine-dominated mires in the Jura Mountains, Switzerland: A tentative scheme based on synusial phytosociology

A description of the bog-pine (Pinus uncinata var. rotundata) dominated vegetation of uncut oligotrophic mires affected by drainage is given. Surveys were carried out at 17 sites along the Jura Mountains (Switzerland and France) in 1993, 1994, and 1995. Raised bogs of the Jura are generally of small size, and most vegetation changes in them have occurred as a result of the indirect impact of peat cutting. This activity led to the peat drying out and to colonization by trees, in particular by bog-pines. Integrated synusial phytosociology was used to describe the vegetation where bog-pine, spruce, and birch occur. Two spatio-temporal levels of organization were considered: the synusia and the phytocoenosis. At the phytocoenosis level, four vegetation types representing bog-pine stands of uncut and deep oligotrophic peats are described with their constitutive synusial composition. They represent: (1) phytocoenoses developing in the open, wet central parts of the bogs, where trees are scattered and of small size, (2) phytocoenoses with layered tree stands of medium size and with a higher density, and (3) phytocoenoses with tall trees, developing generally near the edge of the bogs or close to peat cuttings. A generalized qualitative dynamic model of the vegetation in relation to the development of bog-pine trees was developed. It shows the spatial and temporal organization of the constituent synusiae, as well as other underlying hypothetical functional relations. The different bog-pine-dominated vegetation types described in this study appear to have coexisted since the origin of the Jura bogs as a result of local polyclimaxes induced by differential waterlogged situations. They probably all belong to the same (primary) successional series, but have been affected by both autogenic and allogenic processes. During the development of the bogs the balance between the different communities changed. In particular, the vegetation types with dense and tall pine trees have undergone a drastic expansion since the Jura bogs were first affected by drainage.

Published in:
Folia Geobotanica, 35, 3, 273-288

 Record created 2006-03-09, last modified 2018-03-17

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