Components character

A basic taxonomic-physiognomic grouping has been established that additionally reflects key autecological/synecological properities. Brief definitions of these components were presented in Kovar-Eder & Kvaček (2003, 2007), Jechorek & Kovar-Eder (2004), Kovar-Eder et al. (2008) and Teodoridis (2010). Recently, Teodoridis et al. (2011, table 2) have summarized the evaluation of the taxonomic-physiognomic grouping and proposed a new concept of grouping as follows:


a) CONIFER COMPONENT (CONIFER) – zonal and extrazonal conifers. For example, Cunninghamia (zonal) and Abies, Picea, and Tsuga (extrazonal).

b) BROAD-LEAVED DECIDUOUS COMPONENT (BLD) – zonal broad-leaved deciduous woody angiosperms. Leaf-size class microphyll (2.25-20.25 cm2 sensu Webb, 1959), notophyll (20.25-45 cm2 sensu Webb, 1959), or mesophyll (45-182.2 cm2 sensu Webb, 1959), texture thin, usually not entire-margined (Kovar-Eder et al. 2008, Fig. 3A).

c) BROAD-LEAVED EVERGREEN COMPONENT (BLE) – zonal broad-leaved evergreen woody angiosperms. Leaf-size class microphyll, notophyll, or mesophyll – see leaf size template, texture coriaceous, usually entire-margined, revolute, erose, or inconspicuously (often sparsely) toothed. The resolution of the BLE component is higher in floras with leaf cuticle preserved, which allows a differentiation of the families with uniform leaf morphology (e.g., Lauraceae) to the specific level. Without preserved cuticle, the resolution of this component is less accurate (Kovar-Eder et al. 2008, Fig. 3B).

d) SCLEROPHYLLOUS COMPONENT (SCL) – zonal sclerophyllous woody angiosperms. Leaf-size class nanophyll to microphyll (0.25-2.25 cm2 sensu Webb, 1959; lower end of leaf size range) – see leaf size template; texture thick, toothed, often with spinose teeth (Kovar-Eder et al. 2008, Fig. 3C), or entire margined.

e) LEGUME-like COMPONENT (LEG) – woody angiosperms with legume-like foliage. Leaf size class (of leaflets) leptophyll (<0.25 cm2 sensu Webb, 1959) or nanophyll, that is, the lower end of microphyll size range; mostly entire margined or inconspicuously toothed (Kovar-Eder et al. 2008, Fig. 3D).

f) ZONAL PALM COMPONENT (ZONPALM) – zonal palms. For example, Phoenicites borealis and Phoenix hercynica.

g) ARBORESCENT FERN COMPONENT (ARBFERN) – zonal arborescent ferns.

h) DRY HERBACEOUS COMPONENT (D-HERB) – zonal xeric herbs characteristic of open woodlands and grasslands, including dry zonal non-woody elements, e.g, monocots, ferns and horsetails.

i) MESOPHYTIC HERBACEOUS COMPONENT (M-HERB) – zonal mesophytic herbs characteristic of mesophytic forest understorey, including zonal non-woody elements, e.g., monocots, ferns, horsetails and lycopods.


a) AZONAL WOODY COMPONENT (AZW) – azonal woody conifers and angiosperms, e.g. Taxodium, Glyptostrobus, Acer tricuspidatum, Salix, Populus, Avicennia, and Calamus daemonorops.

b) AZONAL NON-WOODY COMPONENT (AZNW) – azonal non-woody elements characterized by herbaceous helophytes as monocots, ferns, horstails and lycopods, e.g. Cladium, Cladiocarya (Cyperaceae), and Decodon (Lythraceae).

c) AQUATIC COMPONENT – aquatic plants including non-rooted hydrophytes, e.g. Salvinia, Nuphar.

PROBLEMATIC TAXA – elements that cannot be assigned to the above mentioned components are included here.