while working for IMCG...
(updated september 14th, 2003)
The International Mire Conservation Group (I.M.C.G. ) is a world wide organization (NGO) dealing with mire protection and conservation all around the world. To understand its organization and to know about its activities please consult the official site at http://www.imcg.net
The "executive committee" of IMCG proposes and follows the implementation of some projects of international importance. Among these projects two are under the responsability of mine :
- To establish a Mire Plant Species List first at Holarctic level, in future expanded to Tropical and Austral areas. This list will be extended to all wetland and aquatic species in a further step.
- To propose botanical criteria which could be recorded upon the mires of the world, in order to establish a plant based mire classification.
These pages are presented in order to gather information and comments about the two above mentioned projects.
- Another project is to integrate the classifications developped by each topic group (Hydrology, Plants, Animals, Regionality...).
A first field work meeting will occur to compare the multilevel approaches of the hydrogenetic and plant groups. If the results are ok, then a more important research program followed by field courses could be decided.
BUT RECENTLY IN FRANCE ONE OF MY MAIN IMCG PROJECTS WAS TO ORGANIZE THE HOSTING OF THE BIENNIAL IMCG SYMPOSIUM (FRANCE, 10-22 july 2002). (See the official imcgwebsite for informations, and look for the publication of the proceedings).
WORLD MIRE PLANT SPECIES LIST :
Dear Mire Friends.
During our meeting in Kushiro (August-September 1996), it was decided that IMCG would produce a " Holarctic Mire Plant Species List ". A meeting of the Working Group (December 1996, Vienna) has agreed on a process and a time table to reach this goal. In Popelna (March 1999, Czech republic), it was decided to try to extend the list to Tropical and Austral areas. In Lagow (March 2000, Polska), it was proposed to extend the lists to all mire, wetland and aquatic species. The process to gather information is the following :
1) I have prepared a draft list of species at Holarctic level (1200 vascular plants, 200 bryophytes). Tropical and Austral lists are also now in preparation, drafts can be downloaded on this site.
2) The lists are sent to Mire Specialists and put on the internet, for comments and additions.
3) I gather the comments.
4) I prepare the next drafts, including all accepted additions.
The lists will be presented mentioning the contributor's names, with the country upon which they will provide information. The lists are downloadable from this internet web site (see below).
I ask you to send directly to me, your comments and additions (in red, directly on the draft lists, or on the files). First thing is to check the occurrence of the species in each area. You may also add new species but please indicate the reference of the flora you use, to avoid any synonyms problems. You may also divide the columns into narrower geographical unit, if you find it useful. To quote the lists in bibliographies I suggest the following :
"names of contributors" - "year of the first version (1998 ff)" - IMCG's Holarctic (or Tropical, or Austral) Mire Plant Species List. "adress of the website where the list is downloadable" "year of the used version".
Next page will give you some information on the concept of the lists.
Ph. JULVE, coordinator of the project.
Download the provisory Holarctic Mire Plant Species List
Download the provisory Tropical Mire Plant Species List
Download the provisory Austral Mire Plant Species List
NB : The file are sent in MICROSOFT EXCEL 97 for WINDOWS 95 format (compressed winzip 6.3 if > 300 kb). In the files, there is one sheet for the vascular plants and a second one for the bryophytes.
In any case, you may fill a gap, or choose to change the content of each square.
* First columns describe the occurrence of the species in each " country " (1 = occurrence, 0 = absence, a blank means no information). The choice of the " countries " has been done on available information : feel free to propose the cutting in two or more for each column. This should be done for America and Asia for example. Note that the purpose is to give a general frame and not to provide local information : for example France has not been divided, but Scotland has been separated of England, as it seems useful for the general understanding of mire areas. Former Yougoslavia, Maghreb and Macaronesia have not been divided due to lack of information. In any case, feel free to discuss the proposals. The given limits for the Holarctic Empire (= Kingdom), Tropical and Austral areas follow more or less the concepts of :
TAKHTAJAN, A., 1986 - Floristic Regions of the World. 522 p. University of California Press. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London.
MEUSEL, M., JÄGER, E. & WEINERT, E., 1965 ff. - Vergleichende Chorologie der Zentraleuropäischen Flora. text 583 p., maps 258 p. Gustav Fischer Verlag, Jena. (six volumes : 3 x texts + maps).
Note that for USA, the geographical regions are defined by the map given by John Kartesz and coll. with the US Wetland Plant Species List of the US Fish and Wildlife Service (http://www.nwi.fws.gov/ecology.html).
* Next column give a list of species. All the known species having their ecological optimum in mires have been taken into account. In addition, some species which have not their optimum in mires but which are well spread or dominant in some mires have been added.
* Next column give an idea of the pH range of upper soil layer, where the species is mostly found.
* Next column indicates the optimal water level indicator value, in mire (adaptation of Lindsay's T/A scale).
For the vascular plants - A3 : aquatic, A2 : amphibious, A1 : helophytic, T1 : hygrophilous of low level, T2 : hygrophilous of medium level, T3 : more or less dry (heaths).
For the bryophytes - see LINDSAY & al., 1985 -The use of small scale surface patterns in the classification of British peatlands. Aquilo, 21 : 69-79. (Hummock = dwarf shrub zone, Ridge = lawn, Hollow = carpet + mud bottom).
* Next column explain the nutrients demand in the soil (for the plants, mostly nitrogen end phosphorus compounds), given in a three step scale : oligotrophilous, mesotrophilous, eutrophilous.
* Next column is used to describe freely the optimal habitat of the plant. Feel free to write what you think, I will coordinate the matters.
* The next column (Catminat code) is a personal code, which helps you to understand the hierarchy of the phytosociological column (sort the file using this column). There are 16 habitat types described by the first number, before the slash symbol (6 = mire, 14 = heath, 15 = scrub, etc.). The Catminat Code has been designed for the vegetation of France, but may be transpose everywhere due to his hierarchical concept : first number shows habitat type, the next numbers (after the slash) refers to phytosociological categories : class (1 to n in each habitat type), subclass, order, suborder, alliance, suballiance (if a subcategory is not represented in a unit there is a zero). So if you look at the number you know the category and if you sort the file using Catminat Code column you will find the phytosociological classification (nearly exhaustive only for the true mire plants).
* The next column indicate the phytosociological optimum, following my own synusial system (Explanation and synonymy with classical systems can be send on request). If not available, the phytosociological optimum may be change into the given of five co-occuring species. This information is also seen when you sort the file, using phytosociological criterium.
* The last column gives the transgressive phytosociological optimum, when the same species characterize two allopatric equivalent units (in two different regions).
· List of contributions :
JULVE Philippe (draft lists, updating and coordination)
VERGNE Virginie (New Zealand, Australia)
GAUTHIER Robert (Canada)
BOUDIER Pierre (Bryophytes : Europe, Asia, northern America)
BYFIELD Andrew (Turkey)
JOOSTEN Hans (Southern Africa)
HOTES Stefan (Japan)
HEIKKILÄ Raimo (Finland)
HOFSTETTER Ronald (Florida)
HEINICKE Thomas (Kirghizstan)
†BOTCH Marina (NW-Russia)
COUWENBERG John (database links)
CRITERIA FOR A BOTANICAL MIRE CLASSIFICATION :
In the first IMCG Workshop upon Mire Classification (Greifswald, march 25-29th, 1998, for the report consult the official site at http://www.imcg.net), Members decided to work out different ways for a global mire classification. Among various criteria which can be recorded on the field (hydrological, geomorphological, pedological, palynological...) the features based upon flora and vegetation are of special interest, due to their relatively easy observation and their ecological significance. As the designed coordinator of this project theme, I would like to discuss the various botanical informations which could be gathered for "each" mire of our planet, in order to produce a global world mire classification. These ideas have also been presented in the 2nd IMCG Workshop in Popelna (Czech Republic, march 22-26th 1999).
Comments and discussions can be sent to my E-mail adress, and if enough people are interested, a newsgroup could be build in the future...
1) The list of plant species (including bryophytes and lichenes, or not), is already a very good information which can be use to predict the developmental stage of a mire, and its architectural, dynamical and ecological complexity, at least for experienced searchers. The only problem is to find people who are able to name the species in the field, specially in poorly known areas like the southern hemisphere. But at least if some species can be recorded (with the indication that the list is not complete, and possibly an estimation of the total number of species ?), it may show some places of interest where future investigations should be given priority.
2) The proportion (dominance/cover) of biological types (sensu Raunkiaer), is also very informative, because along the primary dynamic succession of a mire hemicryptophytes may be replaced by chamaephytes, at least in the temperate mires, during the development from geotrophy towards ombrotrophy. The biological types can be mostly recognised directly on the field.
3) The proportion of trees is also very useful in some cases being often correlated with the dynamic stage reach by a mire.
4) The proportion of colours in the mire landscape can be a very easy but meaningful description. Most of the pioneer stage being characterized by a green colour, the later being more "red" or "brown".
5) Of course, a full description of the plant communities (qualitative or quantitative description), done preferably by phytosociological methods (whatever school you would like to choose...), can be used by experienced workers to synthesize the information at higher geographical level, in a very efficient way.
6) The shape of the plants found on the field can even be described and bring information : are they high or low, prostrate or erect, in clone or alone, with thin erect leaves, or with broad spread leaves...I do not want to propose yet a formal description of these features, but the above example show the way to describe simply these dominant morphological features, well correlated with the biotopes.
7) The record of vital attributes : anemophily versus entomophily, dispersion mode of the propagules (zoochory, anemochory, hydrochory...) is sometime correlated with the dynamic stage, and also reflects the diversity of a given mire.
8) We should not forget the information given by palynological records and subfossils macrorests, especially to understand the history and development of each mire, and the environmental conditions at their origin. A special workgroup deals with this question in IMCG. This group is coordinated by Barry Warner (firstname.lastname@example.org).