Abstract. Since the introduction of ‘potential natural vegetation’ (PNV) as a concept in vegetation science by Tüxen (1956), many PNV‐maps with different scales have been made. Tüxen emphasized the great value of PNV‐maps for different purposes in land use, landscape planning and nature conservation, in particular with regard to forestry, agriculture and landscape management. Different aspects are discussed in order to examine the validity and applicability of PNV‐maps in landscape planning and nature conservation. PNV‐maps are useful for the differentiation of natural and landscape units on a small scale (< 1 : 100 000). However, maps of the potential natural vegetation are less useful for purposes of detailed planning on larger scales (> 1 : 100 000). Problems arise, for example, from the often highly hypothetical character of the construction and the practice of taking remnants of ‘natural’ vegetation as a reference object for the PNV. With regard to the goals of modern landscape planning and nature conservation purposes (e.g. conserving biodiversity in the cultural landscape of Central Europe) the exact documentation of the actual real vegetation (ARV) on intermediate and large scales gives much more detailed information than a hypothetical PNV.
Applied Vegetation Science – Wiley
Published: Dec 1, 1998
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