Composition of the vegetation and the properties of its environment are related, as was shown by research. In these, mostly statistical-correlative studies, both the vegetation and some growth factors, such as plant nutrients and moisture supply were analyzed and studied on interdependence.At present the environmental conditions can be estimated in the field from the floristic composition with regard to differences both in the combination of plant species and in their relative biomass production.With a vegetation survey the spatial pattern of the different environmental conditions can be indicated. For instance, the places where moisture supply gradients occur can be detected, also a better understanding is obtained of the environmental equalization and the decreasing number of plant species and spatial diversity.Conclusions can be drawn about changes in the vegetation to be expected, from the combined occurrence of, a terrestrial vegetation indicating an eutrofied environment and a water vegetation indicating a relatively oligotrophic environment.By comparing vegetation recordings of the past and present, environmental changes that have occurred in the same place can be indicated.By vegetations situated in different places in relation with soil profile properties the consequences of environmental changes can be predicted. For instance, lowering of the ground water table and intensifying the agricultural use.On the other hand, measures can be suggested to increase the biological value of land and water, for instance, indication of seepage areas and floristically rich areas in the field.
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- Vegetation as an Indicator of Environmental Changes
Th. A. De Boer
- Springer Netherlands
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