On the basis of ecological scales and regression analysis, indicators of the potential optimum and limiting abiotic factors for plant communities have been developed. About 320 geobotanical descriptions of 12 types of Belarus pine forests were used for the ecological analysis. The ecological index of communities, which allows evaluating the quality of the abiotic factors influence, using a distance measure towards the community potential optimum is substantiated. The ecological index was successfully validated on the edapho-phytocenotic series of Belarus pine forests types.Keywords: ecological index, ecological ordination, ecological scales, ecological series, forest type, pine forests, plant community potential optimum
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