Understorey Vegetation

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Native plants typical of natural plant communities consisting of the ground vegetation excluding trees five inches DBH and larger.http://library.municode.com/html/12399/level2/ARTXIIDE_PT12.01.00DE.html

The understorey, a forest layer with an underestimated importance for ecosystem functioning

The major forest types in Europe, from the Boreal to the Mediterranean region, all include a variable number of native vascular plant species in the understorey layer (1.3 m height), both herbaceous and woody. In spite of its small stature and biomass this layer can contain 90% or more of the plant species of the forest. The functional role of the understory vegetation has already been shown in previous studies on temperate forests. They can serve as:

Is understorey vegetation diversity associated with tree species diversity in European forests?

Despite its relatively low biomass compared to the forest overstorey, the diversity and functional importance of the shrub and herb layer is high. For instance, it is a potential nectar source for pollinators, provides habitat for small mammals, affects tree regeneration, invasion resistance and influences decomposition and nutrient cycling. Therefore it is important to know if the understorey vegetation diversity is associated with the tree species diversity in European forests.

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