Vegetation Classification and Survey (VCS) completed its third volume

The post provided by Jürgen Dengler (on behalf of all VCS Chief Editors)

Cover of Volume 3 (2022) of Vegetation Classification and Survey with motifs from the Editors’ Award article by Liu et al. 2022 on the classification of Chinese steppes).

Vegetation Classification and Survey (VCS) has completed its third volume, containing in total 23 articles, and thus almost the same number as in the previous year – unlike the serious decline in article numbers that most of the serious ecological journals faced in the last few years (Dengler et al. 2023). Among the seven articles published in the fourth quarter of 2022, we selected Loidi et al. (2022) as the Editors’ Choice for their “Review and Synthesis” paper on a re-definition of the terrestrial biomes of the globe (see blog post here). Following their review on biome definitions (and related concepts) in the literature, which had been selected as Editors’ Choice one year ago (Hunter et al. 2021), they now set up to define nine biomes and 20 subbiomes de novo, building on the previous concepts. The units are well defined and characterised in detail. A detailed map shows their spatial distribution and thus facilitates the application in global studies of vegetation ecology and macroecology.

Following the tradition, at the end of the year the Chief Editors selected from the four Editors’ Choice papers of the year one for the Editors’ Award. In 2022 it goes to Changcheng Liu and colleagues for their broadscale classification paper of Stipa-dominated steppes in China, who also won the Editors’ Choice of the second quarter (Liu et al. 2022). Based on high-quality data of 1,337 vegetation plots distributed across all grassland areas of China and adjacent Mongolia, the authors developed a hierarchical classification system compatible with the “International Vegetation Classification” (EcoVeg approach; Faber-Langendoen et al. 2014). With cluster analyses, followed by statistical indicator species determination, they could assign the Chinese steppes to five biogeographic groups, 26 alliances and 91 associations plus 12 communities. This is not only an important contribution to the project “Vegetation of China” where it shows how former subjective expert classifications can be replaced by data-driven more objective classifications, but also because it fills a major gap for a comprehensive treatment of all steppes of the Palaearctic.

The recipient of the VCS Editors’ Award for 2022, Changcheng Liu, during vegetation survey in an alpine meadow on the Tibetan Plateau (Photo: Y. He).

Volume 3, 4th quarter

  • Oliveira, J., Molina, J.A. & Navarro, G. 2022. BOVEDA, the Bolivian Vegetation Ecology Database: first stage, the Chacoan forests. Vegetation Classification and Survey 3: 191–197.
  • Brown, L.R., Magagula, I.P. & Barrett, A.S. 2022. A vegetation classification and description of Telperion Nature Reserve, Mpumalanga, South Africa. Vegetation Classification and Survey 3: 199–219.
  • Świerkosz, K. & Reczyńska, K. 2022. VESTA – resurvey of natural, non-forest vegetation (Central Europe). Vegetation Classification and Survey 3: 221–222.
  • Giorgis, M.A., Cabido. M.R., Cingolani, A.M., Palchetti, M.V., Zeballos, S.R., Cantero, J.J. & Acosta, A.T.R. 2022. ArgVeg – Database of Central Argentina. Vegetation Classification and Survey 3: 223–230.
  • Loidi, J., Navarro-Sánchez, G. & Vynokurov, D. 2022. Climatic definitions of the world’s terrestrial biomes. Vegetation Classification and Survey 3: 231–271.
  • Świerszcz, S., Swacha, G., Raduła, M.W. & Nowak, S. 2022. Distribution of graminoids in open habitats in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Vegetation Classification and Survey 3: 273–286.
  • Peyre, G., Montesinos, D., Giraldo, D., Galán de Mera, A., Ruthsatz, B., Luebert, F., Ontivero, M., García, N., Álvarez, M., Meneses, R.I., Lozano, P., León, D., Weigend, M., Anthelme, F., Palma, M. & Rodriguez, C. 2022. VegAndes: the vegetation database for the Latin American highlands. Vegetation Classification and Survey 3: 287–296.

Other cited references

  • Dengler, J., Biurrun, I., Jansen, F. & Willner, W. 2023. Vegetation Classification and Survey in the third year. Vegetation Classification and Survey 4: 1–6.
  • Hunter, J., Franklin, S., Luxton S. & Loidi, J. (2021) Terrestrial biomes: a conceptual review. Vegetation Classification and Survey 2: 73–85. 10.3897/VCS/2021/61463
  • Faber-Langendoen, D., Keeler-Wolf, T., Meidinger, D., Tart, D., Hoagland, B, Josse, C., Navarro, G., Ponomarenko, S., Saucier, J.P., … Comer, P. 2014. EcoVeg: a new approach to vegetation description and classification. Ecological Monographs 84: 533–561.
  • Liu, C., Qiao, X., Guo, K., Zhao, L. & Pan, Q. 2022. Vegetation classification of Stipa steppes in China, with reference to the International Vegetation Classification. Vegetation Classification and Survey 3: 121–144.