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Maria Janicka, Aneta Kutkowska, Jakub Paderewski
Warsaw University of Life Sciences – SGGW, Poland
corresponding author’s e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The aim of the study was to assess the vascular flora of plantations of Salix viminalis L. which were established on permanent grassland in central Poland, and its multifaceted analysis. The dynamics of changes in the flora developed in older willow crops (over 5 years) on two types of plantations (harvested every 2 years, and unharvested) fell within the scope of the study.

The study was carried out in the years 2011-2014 and in 2018, on three Salix viminalis L. plantations in two locations of the Łódź region. The plantations were established in the years 2004-2006, so in the first year of the study they were 5-7 years old. Plantations differed in the cycle of the willow harvest, one group was harvested every 2 years, and the other was not harvested throughout the entire research period. The vegetation accompanying willow energy crops was identified based on an analysis of 24 phytosociological relevés which were made using Braun-Blanquet method. For each species, the following parameters were determined: family, geographical and historical groups, apophyte origin, biological stability, life-form, and status as an invasive, endangered, near-endangered, or protected species. The CCA and PCA analysis were done and Shannon-Wiener diversity index was calculated.

The species composition of the Salix viminalis L. plantations was related to the previous use of the land i.e. to meadow communities. In total, 62 vascular plant species were found in willow energy crops, which belonged to 22 botanical families. The most numerous families were: Poaceae, Asteraceae, Rosaceae and Lamiaceae. In harvested plantations were found more species than in not harvested. The number of plant species in both types of plantations decreased over time but faster in the uncut plantation. In two types of plantations, native (apophyte) species, perennial species and hemicryptophytes dominated. The long period of willow cultivation and the lack of systematic harvesting created appropriate light conditions for development of woodland/shrub apophytes, rather than meadow apophytes, which increased their share in both types of plantations. The vast majority (about 70%) of species achieved only I or II degrees of phytosociological constancy.

The analysis of changes in the share of phytosociological classes showed that in cut plantations, the share of species belonging to the Molinio-Arrhenatheretea class decreased and the share of species belonging to the Stellarietea mediae class increased. While in the uncut plantation the share of ruderal species from the Artemisieta vulgaris class increased slowly and the share of meadow species of the Molinio-Arrhenatheretea class decreased. Shannon-Wiener diversity index in uncut plantation decreased with the age of Salix viminalis L. from 2.5 to 1.6. In cut plantations floristic diversity was a bit higher.


Salix viminalis L. crops, vascular flora, dynamic of flora, age of plantation, biodiversity

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