Department of Biology
Institute of Plant Science and Microbiology
    Division BEE  >  Biodiversity & Ecology  >  Vol.4 >  Article 81

Biodiversity & Ecology

Short Database Report    Open Access 

Swiss Forest Vegetation Database

Thomas Wohlgemuth*

Article first published online: 24 September 2012

DOI: 10.7809/b-e.00131

*Corresponding author contact: thomas.wohlgemuth@wsl.ch

Biodiversity & Ecology  (Biodivers. Ecol.)

Special Volume: Vegetation databases for the 21st century,
edited by Jürgen Dengler, Jens Oldeland, Florian Jansen, Milan Chytrý, Jörg Ewald, Manfred Finckh, Falko Glöckler, Gabriela Lopez-Gonzalez, Robert K. Peet & Joop H.J. Schaminée
Volume 4, pages 340–340, Sep 12
  PDF  (260 kB)

Keywords: Switzerland.


Abstract: The Swiss Forest Vegetation Database (GIVD ID EU-CH-005) contains roughly 14,800 relevés located in all parts of Switzerland, and ranging from 200 to 2,480 m a.s.l. Relevés were assessed between 1904 and 1995 by 320 different activities with one or more persons involved. A majority of the relevés were published in papers, monographs or served for regional mapping projects. A first consistent classification into 71 Swiss forest communities derived from 2,533 of these relevés (17%) and equalled the starting point of this collection. During the 1980s and ‘90s, the database was largely extended in order to establish a basis for a revised classification. Meanwhile, many cantons of Switzerland commissioned local forest classifications, which also resulted in an evolution of local expertise on the one hand, and in the difficulty of synthesizing this expertise by means of formal analyses. Eventually, the revision of Ellenberg & Klötzli’s old classification failed. To date, there is no new analysis-based classification of Swiss forests. In contrast, a pragmatic system was established that largely corresponds to the old Ellenberg & Klöztli numbers and may translate between the differing cantonal forest community systems.

Suggested citation:
Wohlgemuth, T. (2012): Swiss Forest Vegetation Database. – In: Dengler, J., Oldeland, J., Jansen, F., Chytrý, M., Ewald, J., Finckh, M., Glöckler, F., Lopez-Gonzalez, G., Peet, R.K., Schaminée, J.H.J. [Eds.]: Vegetation databases for the 21st century. – Biodiversity & Ecology 4: 340–340. DOI: 10.7809/b-e.00131.