Vegetation of the Dolines in Mecsek Mountains (South Hungary) in relation to the Local Plant Communities
This paper deals with the forest vegetation of the lower part of the dolines in Mecsek Mts. (South Hungary). In order to char-acterize this vegetation type, samples were compared to the 6 plant communities occurring in the neighbourhood of the dolines. Considering the vegetation texture and species com-position, the vegetation of the dolines resembles mainly the extrazonal beechwoods (Helleboro odori-fagetum) and local ravine forests (Scutellario altissimae-Aceretum) that preserve several mountain, subatlantic relict species in this area. Our study revealed that the plant communities characteristic of the karst surface of Western Mecsek are arranged along a moisture and nutrient gradient. In this system, the habitat conditions of the dolines are similar to those of the beech forests and the lo-cal ravine forests, fresh and relatively rich in nutrients. In the karst, dominated by oak-hornbeam and beech forests, effects of the thermal inversion are the most spectacular where beech forests follow turkey oak-sessile oak forests and oak-hornbeam forests on the lower part of the doline slopes. The described vegetation type of these depressions is developed by edafic fac-tors; its identification as a separate association is not supported by the analyses.
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