Vegetation Science Group

Department of Botany and Zoology | Faculty of Science | Masaryk University

Vegetation of the Czech Republic

Association THE03
Polygalo majoris-Brachypodietum pinnati Wagner 1941

Polygalo majoris-Brachypodietum pinnati

Photo on botanickafotogalerie.cz

These grasslands are usually dominated by Brachypodium pinnatum or Inula ensifolia and contain several continental species with their western distribution limit in southern Moravia, e.g. Campanula sibirica, Jurinea mollis, Polygala major and Pulsatilla grandis. They occur on south-facing slopes in dry colline landscapes of southern Moravia, mainly on moderately deep soils over calcareous flysch sediments. On some steep slopes affected by landslides, this vegetation may be considered as primary meadow steppe, but in most places it developed after deforestation of thermophilous oak or oak-hornbeam forests. Traditional management was the low-intensity grazing or occasional mowing. Today most sites are abandoned. At sites potentially supporting forests, shrubs and trees are slowly encroaching. In several places this dry grassland type has spread onto abandoned fields.

Orig. (Wagner 1941): Polygaleto-Brachypodietum pinnati (Polygala major)

Syn.: Astragalo austriaci-Brachypodietum pinnati Vicherek in Vicherek et Unar 1971 ms., Corothamno-Brachypodietum Vicherek et Holubová in Vicherek et Unar 1971 ms., Verbasco austriaci-Inuletum ensifoliae Tlusták 1975, Onobrychido arenariae-Brachypodietum pinnati Eijsink et al. 1978

Diagnostic species: Achillea pannonica, Asperula cynanchica, Aster amellus, A. linosyris, Astragalus onobrychis, Brachypodium pinnatum, Bupleurum falcatum, Campanula glomerata, Carex humilis, Centaurea scabiosa, Chamaecytisus austriacus, C. ratisbonensis, Dorycnium pentaphyllum s. l., Elytrigia intermedia, Festuca rupicola, Inula ensifolia, Jurinea mollis, Linum tenuifolium, Onobrychis arenaria, Peucedanum alsaticum, P. cervaria, Polygala major, Salvia pratensis, Scabiosa canescens, S. ochroleuca, Teucrium chamaedrys, Thesium linophyllon, Thymus glabrescens; Fissidens dubius, Campyliadelphus chrysophyllus, Homalothecium lutescens

Constant species: Asperula cynanchica, Aster amellus, A. linosyris, Brachypodium pinnatum, Bupleurum falcatum, Carex humilis, Centaurea scabiosa, Dorycnium pentaphyllum s. l., Euphorbia cyparissias, Festuca rupicola, Galium verum agg. (G. verum s. str.), Inula ensifolia, Knautia arvensis agg., Koeleria macrantha, Peucedanum cervaria, Pimpinella saxifraga, Plantago media, Potentilla arenaria, Salvia pratensis, Sanguisorba minor, Scabiosa ochroleuca, Teucrium chamaedrys, Viola hirta; Homalothecium lutescens

Dominant species: Brachypodium pinnatum, Carex humilis, Dorycnium pentaphyllum s. l., Inula ensifolia

Formal definition: Group Inula ensifolia NOT Group Iris pumila NOT Group Stipa capillata NOT Stipa tirsa cover > 25 %

Source: Chytrý M. (2007): THE03 Polygalo majoris-Brachypodietum pinnati Wagner 1941. In: Chytrý M. (ed.), Vegetace České republiky. 1. Travinná a keříčková vegetace [Vegetation of the Czech Republic. 1. Grassland and Heathland Vegetation]. Academia, Praha, pp. 432-434.