Eryngium campestre – Gefährdete Trockenrasenart, Stromtalpflanze oder Ruderalpflanze? / Dietmar Brandes und Tobias Jesske
The core habitat of Eryngium campestre is in open grass land over profound and calcareous soils. In Central Europe the occurrence of the species is focused on dry and warm areas. It needs for germination and establishing open vegetation, whereas nutrients like nitrate support the development only in low concentrations. The coenologic amplitude is from steppes and dry grassland of the class Festuco-Brometea over meadow communities (class Molinio-Arrhenatheretea) to different ruderal communities of the class Artemisietea. In contrary to the usual classification in the Central European (German) literature E. campestre exceeds the class Festuco-Brometea remarkably which is documented by the communities growing along the big rivers Rhine and Elbe. In Southern Europe E. campestre is seen as a character species of Onopordetalia acanthi, sometimes even as an agressive weed. The question raised with the title can therefore be answered as follows: E. campestre is a species of dry grassland, a river corridor plant as well as a ruderal plant. E. campestre is found frequently at disturbed, ruderalized places; a certain pioneer character is not questionable. This enables E. campestre to spread along big rivers, in which its ability to germinate below water possibly supports the spreading. A connection to a single class should only be valid within local scale if ever. A field of future investigations is the question, wether E. campestre also accumulates at disturbed and ruderalized places in areas where its focus is within dry grassland (class Festuco-Brometea).
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