Milan Chytrý

Professor of Botany, Masaryk University


European vegetation survey

With the international visiting scientists, postdocs and students in the Vegetation Science Group at Masaryk University, we have made various contributions to vegetation survey and classification in different parts of Europe. In cooperation with colleagues from the IAVS Working Group European Vegetation Survey and Wageningen Environmental Research (the Netherlands), we have recently started new efforts towards developing an internationally consistent and comprehensive classification of European vegetation. We established the European Vegetation Archive, a centralized database of European vegetation plots, contributed to the compilation of European Vegetation Checklist, and currently we work towards development of unified classification of European habitats and vegetation and habitat types. These activities are supported by a five-year EXPRO grant from the Czech Science Foundation (2019-2023). We also work on the revision of the EUNIS Habitat Classification for the European Environment Agency.

Vegetation of the Czech Republic

This collaborative research programme was started in 1996 by the foundation of the Czech National Phytosociological Database at the Vegetation Science Group and was finished by the publication of four volumes of the monograph Vegetation of the Czech Republic in 2007-2013. The resulting classification of Czech vegetation is not only described in this monograph, but its formalized version is available as a computer expert system. A total of 47 authors directly participated in the preparation of the national vegetation classification, supported by many professional and amateur botanists and plant ecologists as well as students. Application of this research in nature conservation included preparation of the Habitat Catalogue of the Czech Republic (2001, second edition 2010), a guide for the national project of Natura 2000 habitat mapping.

Summarizing botanical information for the Czech Republic

I was the Principal Investigator of the Czech Science Foundation Centre of Excellence Pladias (Plant Diversity Analysis and Synthesis, 2014-2018), which synthesized all available information on distribution, biological characteristics, functional traits and autecology of the Czech vascular plant species in a single online Pladias Database of the Czech Flora and Vegetation. This database is extensively used for research, applications and teaching. Its development continues after the lifetime of the Pladias project.

Ecosystems of Siberia

I started field vegetation research in Siberia with two expeditions to the Lake Baikal area in 1991 and 1993. In systematic research ongoing since 2003, our group of botanists, zoologists and palaeoecologists is looking for analogues of full-glacial to early Holocene ecosystems in modern ecosystems of Siberia, Kazakhstan, Urals and Alaska. Our fieldwork has focused on different Siberian regions such as the Altai and its foothills, Western Sayan, West Siberian Plain, Central Yakutia, Lake Baikal area, Buryatia and Bashkortostan.

Plant invasions

I am interested in the link between plant community ecology and plant invasions, especially in the patterns and processes of invasion across plant communities and habitats. I have done most of these studies in close cooperation with Petr Pyšek and his Department of Invasion Ecology in the Institute of Botany of the Czech Academy of Sciences.

Methods of vegetation data analysis

We started our experimentations with data analysis methods together with my Department colleague Lubomír (Luboš) Tichý in 1998 to support the project Vegetation of the Czech Republic. Since then we have developed or tested, alone or in collaboration with other colleagues, a range of new methods, which Luboš made available in his JUICE program, which is now used by vegetation scientists all around the world.