Vegetation Science Group

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

Vegetation of the Czech Republic

Alliance THD
Festucion valesiacae Klika 1931

The alliance Festucion valesiacae includes vegetation of continental steppes, dominated by narrow-leaved tussock-forming grasses of the genera Festuca and Stipa. Stands of this alliance occupy south-facing slopes in the warmest and driest areas of Central Europe. They are supported by soils developing usually over base-rich and often calcareous bedrocks. These grasslands are distributed in Russian and Ukrainian steppes as well as in dry areas of south-eastern and Central Europe. At several sites in Central Europe they are relicts of continental steppe, which used to be widespread at low altitudes in the Late Glacial. At many sites these grasslands persisted continuously throughout the Holocene, due to extremely dry local conditions or grazing. Elsewhere the communities of the Festucion valesiacae are of secondary nature, developed after deforestation of semi-dry woodlands. Return of woody vegetation in these secondary dry grasslands after cessation of grazing is retarded or completely prevented by drought.

Orig. (Klika 1931b): Assoziationsverband: Festucion vallesiacae

Syn.: Festucion rupicolae Soó 1940, Festuco-Stipion (Klika 1931) Krausch 1961, Asplenio cuneifolii-Armerion serpentini Kolbek et al. in Moravec et al. 1983 p. p.; incl. Astragalo austriaci-Achilleenion setaceae Toman 1981, Agropyro intermedii-Festucenion valesiacae Kolbek in Moravec et al. 1983, Coronillo variae-Festucenion rupicolae Kolbek in Moravec et al. 1983

Diagnostic species: Achillea pannonica, A. setacea, Artemisia campestris, Asperula cynanchica, Astragalus austriacus, A. exscapus, Bothriochloa ischaemum, Carex humilis, C. supina, Centaurea stoebe, Dianthus carthusianorum s. l., Eryngium campestre, Erysimum crepidifolium, Euphorbia cyparissias, Festuca valesiaca, Koeleria macrantha, Medicago falcata, Potentilla arenaria, Salvia nemorosa, Seseli hippomarathrum, Silene otites s. l., Stipa capillata, S. pennata, S. pulcherrima, Thymus glabrescens, T. pannonicus, Verbascum phoeniceum, Veronica prostrata

Constant species: Achillea millefolium agg. (predominantly A. collina), Artemisia campestris, Asperula cynanchica, Carex humilis, Centaurea stoebe, Dianthus carthusianorum s. l., Eryngium campestre, Euphorbia cyparissias, Festuca rupicola, F. valesiaca, Koeleria macrantha, Potentilla arenaria, Stipa capillata, Thymus pannonicus

Source: Chytrý M. (2007): THD Festucion valesiacae Klika 1931. 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. 409-410.