The beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) occurs in Europe in pure and mixed mesophile, deciduous, dominantly broad-leaved forests belonging to the phytosociological order of the Fagetalia silvaticae. This order includes the true beech forests united into the Fagion alliance and is represented in the area considered by the Fagetum boreoatlanticum (with 5 subassociations), and the mixed beech forests belonging to the Fraxino-Carpinion and represented by the Querceto-Carpinetum medioeuropaeum (with 2 subassociations). A further subdivision into variants and subvariants was made.Some of the subassociations only occur on soils with a high watertable; others represent ultimate equilibrium stages in vegetational development under normal conditions, called climax vegetation types. Diemont concluded from his investigations that the climax types varied with the soil; nevertheless, within one climatic region, they were so much alike to be considered members of one climax swarm ('Klimaxschwarm'). However distinct differences between the floristic composition on northern or eastern slopes and on other slopes were found; within one region such types may be combined into one climax group ('Klimaxgruppe').Physical and chemical soil analysis supported the botanical classification. Climatic data were added. Some notes were included on the ephemeral vegetation occurring after removal of the forest.The natural forest types and the ecological conditions under which they occurred supplied valuable information on the most suitable tree and shrub species for reforestation and the treatment of the forest.
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