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Contribution to the knowledge of Bulgarian serpentine grasslands and their relationships with Balkan serpentine syntaxa

Tzonev, Rossen, Pavlova, Dolja, Sánchez-Mata, Daniel, de la Fuente, Vicenta
Plant biosystems 2013 v.147 no.4 pp. 955-969
grasslands, rocks, serpentine, Bulgaria, Greece
Serpentine areas, including those in Bulgaria, are rich in endemic taxa, and still remain to be investigated phytocoenologically. We analyse the vegetation types in various sites and compare them with those in other Balkan countries. The main objectives were (1) to explore and describe the relationships between the vegetation in the serpentine areas investigated in Bulgaria with those in the Balkan Peninsula and (2) to explore and classify the diversity of vegetation in grasslands on serpentine rocks in eastern Rhodope, Bulgaria. The classic methodology of the Braun-Blanquet school was applied to the exploration of the vegetation. Average linkage method (unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean) and principal coordinate analysis were used to evaluate floristic and synoptic similarities. As a result, the new endemic association Onosmo pavlovae-Festucetum dalmaticae was proposed. This association can be included in the alliance Alyssion heldreichii Bergmeier et al. 2009, newly described on serpentine rocks in northern Greece. Our data confirmed the existence of similar or vicariant endemic syntaxa (associations) on isolated serpentine terrains in northern Greece and south-eastern Bulgaria.