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Pan-European Approaches to the Classification of Habitats, Vegetation and Forest Types. P. 9–24

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Valery V. Fomin, Natalya S. Ivanova, Sergey V. Zalesov, Anna P. Mikhailovich

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The article describes the approaches and features of classification of forests, habitats and vegetation at the Pan-European level on the example of the classification of European forest types (EFT), the EUNIS habitat classification and the Europe vegetation classification created by the phytosociologists of the European Vegetation Survey (EVS). The forest type in the EFT classification is a large forest vegetation unit distinguished within biogeographic regions by the similarity of forest site conditions, structure and productivity of the plantation, and the degree of anthropogenic transformation of forests. Accounting for the successional dynamics of forest biogeocoenosis is worked out at the theoretical level, in practice, the accounting is possible due to the information obtained from the EUNIS habitat classification, which is linked to the EVS classification by cross-references. The EUNIS classification is a Pan-European reference set of habitat units. It was created using the results of previous large-scale studies in Europe, which resulted in the creation of a number of classifications of biotopes, soil cover and marine habitats. The EVS classification is a comprehensive hierarchical syntaxonomic system of unions, orders and classes of Brown-Blanquet syntaxonomy for vascular plants, mosses, lichens and algae native to Europe. The great advantage of the EFT classification is the inclusion of anthropogenic impacts among the key diagnostic features of a forest type, which are defined by assessing the degree of naturalness of forests, the number of forest species, the type and intensity of anthropogenic impacts. The strength of the EFT classification is to establish cross-links with other forest type classification systems used both within national forest inventory systems and at the EU level. The use of the Braun-Blanquet ecological and floristic approach implemented in the classification of phytosociological alliances makes it possible to conduct a detailed ecological analysis and taking into account not only the stand productivity, but also the level of stand biodiversity, which makes the classification more useful for scientific research and nature preservation.


Valery V. Fomin1*, Doctor of Biology, Assoc. Prof.; ResearcherID: J-3404-2017, ORCID:
Natalya S. Ivanova1,2, Doctor of Biology; ResearcherID: O-8367-2019, ORCID:
Sergey V. Zalesov1, Doctor of Agriculture, Prof.; ResearcherID: H-2605-2019, ORCID:
Anna P. Mikhailovich3, Senior Lecturer; ResearcherID: AAN-5903-2020, ORCID:


1Ural State Forest Engineering University, Sibirskiy trakt, 37, Yekaterinburg, 620100, Russian Federation;*,
2Botanical Garden of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. 8 Marta, 202 а, Yekaterinburg, 620144, Russian Federation;
3Ural Federal University named after the first President of Russia B.N. Yeltsin, ul. Mira, 19, Yekaterinburg, 620002, Russian Federation;


forest typological studies, vegetation classification, European forest type classification, EUNIS habitat classification, phytosociological alliance classification, EVS classification


The research was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR grant No. 20-14-50422) and the Ministry of Science and Higher Education (projects FEUG-2020-0013 and FEUZ 2021-0014).

For citation

Fomin V.V., Ivanova N.S., Zalesov S.V., Mikhailovich A.P. Pan-European Approaches to the Classification of Habitats, Vegetation and Forest Types. Lesnoy Zhurnal = Russian Forestry Journal, 2022, no. 4, pp. 9–24. (In Russ.).


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