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Table of Content
    Volume 44 Issue 2
    20 February 2020

    Physiognomy of vegetation in low mountain, hill and valley on the plateau of central Yunnan, China (Photographed by SHEN Ze-Hao). This special issue publishes the protocols for the compilation of vegetation of China, including the vegetation classification system and classification of vegetation types used for the compilation of vegetation of China, the revised scheme of vegetation classification system of China, as well

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    Editoral
    Vegegraphy of China: surveying and describing the country’s vegetation
    FANG Jing-Yun, WANG Guo-Hong
    Chin J Plant Ecol. 2020, 44 (2):  93-95.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2020.0033
    Abstract ( 515 )   Full Text ( 23 )   PDF (660KB) ( 206 )   Save
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    Research Articles
    Vegetation classification system and classification of vegetation types used for the compilation of vegetation of China
    FANG Jing-Yun, GUO Ke, WANG Guo-Hong, TANG Zhi-Yao, XIE Zong-Qiang, SHEN Ze-Hao, WANG Ren-Qing, QIANG Sheng, LIANG Cun-Zhu, DA Liang-Jun, YU Dan
    Chin J Plant Ecol. 2020, 44 (2):  96-110.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2019.0259
    Abstract ( 861 )   Full Text ( 21 )   PDF (897KB) ( 197 )   Save
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    Vegegraphy, a newly-created term in this paper and a compound word of prefix “vege-” of “vegetation” and suffix of “-graphy”, is a series of monographs that describe detailedly species composition, structures, functions, environmental settings, and distribution of a set of plant communities and/or their combinations for each vegetation type, using community data from vegetation survey. Its compilation is very huge, comprehensive, time-consuming research project, and great importance in the ecological research, vegetation restoration and utilization, biodiversity conservation, and environmental monitoring. This article first documents major community characteristics (i.e., species composition, structures, physiognomy, and dynamics), and historical development and current state of vegetation survey in China and worldwide, then reviews historical studies on vegetation classification systems and their revisions, and finally discusses compilation of vegetation of China and classification of vegetation types used for the compilation. For the revision of vegetation classification systems, we mainly revised high-level units of previous classification systems and the corresponding English terms. Following this revised classification system, the hierarchical level of China’s vegetation classification is expressed as high-level units (Vegetation Formation Group, Vegetation Formation, and Vegetation Subformation), medium-level units (Alliance Group, Alliance, and Suballiance), and lower-level units (Association Group and Association), respectively. In the Vegetation Formation Group unit, nine types were divided as Forest, Shrubland, Herbaceous vegetation, Desert, Swamp & Aquatic Vegetation, Alpine Tundra & Sparse Vegetation, Cultivated Vegetation, Urban Vegetation, and Non-Vegetated Area. For the compilation of vegetation of China and the classification of vegetation types, we used the high-level unit, Vegetation Formation, as the Volume of the vegegraphy, and used a specific term, “Vegetation type”, as the Issue under the Volume. The Vegetation type here is not a real vegetation classification unit but is a combination of a set of vegetation units (i.e., Vegetation Subformation and/or Alliance Group and/or Alliance) in which there exist the same or similar constructive species or the same dominant taxa (species or genus) in the communities. The determination of “Vegetation type” follows the four principles: identity of dominant taxa and life form, relative importance of habitats, difference of vegetation characteristics and application, and practicability of vegegraphy. As a result, the vegetation of China (Vegegraphy of China) completed will be composed of 48 volumes and about 110 issues.

    A revised scheme of vegetation classification system of China
    GUO Ke, FANG Jing-Yun, WANG Guo-Hong, TANG Zhi-Yao, XIE Zong-Qiang, SHEN Ze-Hao, WANG Ren-Qing, QIANG Sheng, LIANG Cun-Zhu, DA Liang-Jun, YU Dan
    Chin J Plant Ecol. 2020, 44 (2):  111-127.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2019.0271
    Abstract ( 549 )   Full Text ( 10 )   PDF (879KB) ( 170 )   Save
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    The principles and scheme of vegetation classification system of China (China-VCS) were first proposed by Hou in China’s Vegetation in 1960. An improved hierarchy framework and criteria of China-VCS were published in Vegetation of China in 1980. China-VCS was revised in Vegetation of China and Its Geographic Pattern — Illustration of the Vegetation Map of the People’s Republic of China (1:1 000 000) in 2007 and in Flora and Vegetation Geography of China in 2014. Song proposed a new scheme in the text book Vegetation Ecology in 2017. To facilitate Chinese vegetation study and the compilation of the book series on the vegetation of China (Vegegraphy of China), this paper provides a revised scheme of China-VCS. The scheme adopts the principles, units and hierarchy structure in the Vegetation of China that was considered as a milestone in the development of Chinese vegetation science. Based on the phytocoenological-ecological principles, plant community features and its ecological conditions are considered as the key criteria for vegetation classification. There are three levels including eight units in the hierarchy framework of China-VCS: upper level (Vegetation Formation Group, Vegetation Formation, and Vegetation Subformation), middle level (Alliance Group, Alliance, Suballiance), and lower level (Association Group, Association). Nine Vegetation Formation Groups are defined as Forest, Shrubland, Herbaceous Vegetation (Grassland), Desert, Alpine Tundra and Sparse Vegetation, Swamp and Aquatic Vegetation (Wetlands), Agricultural Vegetation, Urban Vegetation, and Non-vegetated Area. Forty-eight Vegetation Formations (30 for natural and semi-natural vegetation, 12 for agricultural vegetation, 5 for urban vegetation, and one for Non-vegetated Area) are defined, including 81 Vegetation Subformations from 23 natural and semi-natural vegetation formations. These vegetation formation groups and 30 natural and semi-natural vegetation formations were described briefly. Some issues on China-VCS, especially on the framework, criterion identifying mixed-forest, and the role of soil in vegetation classification, are discussed.
    Contents and protocols for the classification and description of Vegetation Formations, Alliances and Associations of vegetation of China
    WANG Guo-Hong, FANG Jing-Yun, GUO Ke, XIE Zong-Qiang, TANG Zhi-Yao, SHEN Ze-Hao, WANG Ren-Qing, WANG Xiang-Ping, WANG De-Li, QIANG Sheng, YU Dan, PENG Shao-Lin, DA Liang-Jun, LIU Qing, LIANG Cun-Zhu
    Chin J Plant Ecol. 2020, 44 (2):  128-178.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2019.0272
    Abstract ( 491 )   Full Text ( 21 )   PDF (1975KB) ( 190 )   Save
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    Vegegraphy, a compound word of prefix “vege-” of “vegetation” and suffix of “-graphy” (description), is a series of monographs that describe species composition, structures, functions, distribution and environmental settings of a set of plant communities and/or their combinations. The Vegegraphy of China, which will be composed of 48 volumes and about 110 issues, is the first version to describe the medium-level units (Alliance Group, Alliance) and the lower-level units (Association Group, Association), and summarizes the higher-level units (Vegetation Formation Group, Vegetation Formation, Vegetation Subformation) in the Chinese Vegetation Classification System. The description of the higher-level units is highly generalized, mainly based on the data and evidences from the classification and description of the medium- and the lower-level classification units of the Chinese vegetation classification system, focusing on the geographic distribution, natural environment, community physiognomy, vegetation type and diversity, dominant species, values for biodiversity conservation, and the status of current vegetation resources at the scales of both worldwide and China. It is an important revision and expansion of the relevant content of Vegetation of China (1980) and will be the most authoritative and accurate description of the basic characteristics of Chinese vegetation. Alliance Group in each issue is briefly described on geographical distribution, natural environment, vegetation types, significance and conservation etc. Alliance as a key medium- level unit is to be described on several aspects, i.e., geographical distribution, natural environment, ecological characteristics, vegetation composition, vegetation structure, vegetation types and characteristics, biological characteristics of dominant species, biomass and productivity, vegetation dynamics and succession, and significance and conservation. As a core content of the above mentioned aspects, vegetation classification and description are conducted under the guidance of the “80 scheme” of Vegetation of China, using vegetation survey data as credentials to quantitatively differentiate vegetation types accordingly. Specifically, a vegetation classification scheme is determined based on supraterraneous stratification, and a set of diagnostic species while vegetation descriptions focus on physiognomy, community structure, species composition, including quantitative features of dominant species, companion species, constant species and accidental species, as well as their environmental preferences. In this study, we first put forward a code of vegetation nomenclature for the medium-level units (Alliance Group, Alliance) and the lower-level units (Association Group, Association) in the Chinese Vegetation Classification System. According to this vegetation nomenclature, the name of a vegetation type is composed of the name of a diagnostic species (may also be a dominant species) of each layer of the vegetation type and the name of the higher-level units (Vegetation Formation or Vegetation Formation Group) to which it belongs, which guarantees both scientific soundness and practical sense of the vegetation nomenclature. Contents and protocols for the research and editing of “Vegegraphy of China”, including vegetation survey and sample collection, literature compilation, climate, soil and topography data collection and compilation, vegetation classification, vegetation nomenclature, vegetation description outlines, are elaborated or exemplified in detail.


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