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Keywords:

  • Site conditions;
  • Vegetation map;
  • Vegetation samples;
  • Weighted averaging

Abstract

Question: Is it possible to translate vegetation maps into reliable thematic maps of site conditions?

Method: This paper presents a new method, called Iteratio, by which a coherent spatial overview of specific environmental conditions can be obtained from a comprehensive vegetation survey of a specific area. Iteratio is a database application which calculates environmental indicator values for vegetation samples (relevés) on the basis of known indicator values of a limited number of plant species. The outcome is then linked to a digitalized vegetation map (map of plant communities) which results in a spatial overview of site conditions.

Iteratio requires the indicator values of a minimum of 10–20% of the species occurring. The species are given a relative weight according to their amplitudes: species with a narrow range are weighted stronger, species with a broad range are weighted weaker.

Conclusion: The method presented here enables a coherent assessment of site conditions on the basis of a vegetation survey and the indicator values of a limited number of plant species.