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Bulletin of Botanical Research ›› 2021, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (5): 641-659.doi: 10.7525/j.issn.1673-5102.2021.05.001

• Taxonomy •    

A discussion on the Improvement of Chinese Vegetation Classification System and Nomenclature

Xue-Dong LANG1,2, Wan-De LIU1,2, Jiao LIU1, Jian-Rong SU1,2()   

  1. 1.Research Institute of Resources Insect,Chinese Academy of Forestry,Kunming 650224
    2.Observation and Research Station of Pu’er Forest Ecosystem,National Forestry and Grassland Administration of China,Kunming 650224
  • Received:2021-03-29 Online:2021-09-20 Published:2021-07-05
  • Contact: Jian-Rong SU E-mail:jianrongsu@vip.sina.com
  • About author:LANG Xue-Dong(1969—),doctor of science,associate researcher,majoring in plant taxonomy and vegetation ecology.
  • Supported by:
    the fundamental research funds of CAF(CAFYBB2019ZD001);Second Tibetan Plateau scientific expedition and research program(2019QZKK050202);Wild plant protection program of National Forestry and Grassland Administration of China(2020070309)


Reviewed the classification progress of vegetation in the world and in China, a new classification system and nomenclature of Chinese vegetation was presented based on appearance, structure, dynamics, species composition, formation causes and habitat of the community. The principal hierarchy of classification ranks including Vegetation type, Alliance and Associaton were steady, but the word “Alliance” was suggested to replace the word "Formation". Classes of vegetation types, Subclasses of vegetation types, and Group of vegetation types were introduced as supplementary ranks above the vegetation type. It was not recommended to set too many auxiliary ranks below the vegetation type. The high classification units of the natural vegetation classification system were concluded into 3 vegetation classes, 7 vegetation subclasses, 12 vegetation type groups, and 76 vegetation types respectively. The vegetation types were assigned classification codes. The main differences between the new classification system and the Chinese vegetation classification system in 1980 was that the tundra, desert, and swamp were considered as a vegetation habitat instead of being described as a type of vegetation respectively. In order to distinguish between the same concepts in Geomorphology and Physical geography, vegetation subclasses and vegetation types of Fasciculate-leaved forest were added to the new system, and bamboos were individually classified into forest vegetation and shrub vegetation. The herbaceous vegetation was divided into steppe, meadow and grassland respectively, according to the ecological type of the herbs, formation causes of vegetation and community dynamics. As one of the important works of vegetation classification, the methods of vegetation nomenclature were also provided.

Key words: China, vegetation, classification, nomenclature

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