Editors' Choice paper of the first quarter of 2024

21 May 2024

The first 2024 article published in the Vegetation Classification and Survey (VCS) journal to receive the quarterly “Editors’ Choice” recognition is the Nomenclatural Proposal: "Proposal (36) to conserve the name Philonotidion seriatae Hinterlang 1992 for the species-poor, bryophyte-dominated, non-calcareous arctic-alpine spring vegetation of Europe", authored by an internation team led by Prof. Dr. Michal Hájek, Head of the Mire Ecology Group, Department of Botany and Zoology, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic. The contribution is part of the permanent collection in VCS: “Phytosociological Nomenclature”, which is handled in collaboration with the IAVS’ Group on Phytosociological Nomenclature (GPN).

Why did the journal's Chief Editors choose this particular paper?

"Checking the nomenclature of syntaxa is one of the most time-consuming parts of phytosociological revisions", they explained.

"In some cases, it turns out that the strict application of the International Code of Phytosociological Nomenclature (ICPN) would lead to unexpected changes of commonly used names or the maintenance of names that - due to various emendations - have become ambiguous or misleading.

The latter happened to the alliance name Cardamino-Montion described by Braun-Blanquet in 1925. Originally comprising all non-calcareous spring vegetation, in recent surveys, this alliance has been split into two or more alliances, especially along the elevational gradient.

However, the nomenclatural type of the Cardamino-Montion is an alpine community, while the two name-giving species are mostly restricted to lower altitudes. Therefore, Hájek et al. propose to conserve the younger name Philonotidion seriatae Hinterlang 1992, which is less ambiguous and would be suitable for both a narrow and a broader alliance concept.

This paper is a good example of a nomenclatural proposal, a type of contribution exclusively found in VCS.

Publication in VCS constitutes the official submission of proposals to the Working Group for Phytosociological Nomenclature (GPN) of the International Association for Vegetation Science (IAVS)."


Image caption: Stand of the Philonotido-Saxifragetum stellaris, a bryophyte-dominated, non-calcareous, arctic-alpine spring vegetation, from the Retezat Mts., Romania, belonging to the alliance Philonotidion seriatae nom. conserv. propos. This photo refers to the Editors’ Choice article by Hájek et al. (2024) Photo credit: Petra Hájková.

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