Relationship between Habitat Properties and Composition
of Communities in Conifer–Broadleaf Forest
Center for Forest Ecology and Productivity, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 117997 Russia
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Received 14 December, 2016
Abstract—Ecological and phytocenotic features of forest communities were studied in the southwest of Moscow oblast. Based on the ecomorphological groups of species prevalent in the herb–dwarf shrub and moss layers, five groups of communities typical of the conifer–broadleaf forest zone were distinguished (small-herb, small herb-large herb, large-herb, moist-herb, and mixed-herb communities), and their composition was analyzed. Discriminant analysis of the species composition of lower vegetation layers revealed significant differences between the syntaxa, with the percentage of correct classification being 89.8%. To evaluate ecological determination of the above groups of communities, a hypothesis was tested concerning the correlation of their composition with ecotope properties. This hypothesis was verified by means of (1) ordination by ecological indicator values and interpretation of the axes, (2) revealing differences in ecological regimes between habitats of the syntaxa, and (3) combined analysis of on-ground and remote sensing data, particularly spectral brightness of satellite images and morphometric characteristics of the terrain surface. The results confirmed the informativeness of the syntaxa distinguished based on the species composition of the ground vegetation layer and mapping of the ecological regimes of habitats.
Keywords: forest communities, habitat ecology, species and cenotic diversity, classification, ordination, discriminant analysis, conifer–broadleaf forests, Moscow oblast