History of the floristic-sociological workgroup
The „Floristisch-soziologische Arbeitsgemeinschaft in Niedersachsen“ was founded on 13th August 1927 in Göttingen on the occasion of a meeting of experts who had mapped the flora of the province of Hanover. The first volume of the journal “Mitteilungen” was published only one year later, followed by four further journals until 1939. In 1942 the association had to be dissolved but became revitalised in 1946 and named “Floristisch-soziologische Arbeitsgemeinschaft” in 1948. The foundation as well as the reestablishment was above all initiated by Reinhold Tuexen who in his role as a chairman from the beginning until 1971 significantly influenced the development of the association.
Considering the publication of the first edition of “Pflanzensoziologie” by Braun-Blanquet in 1928 to be the first milestone of the science of phytosociology, our association can (almost) also look back on such a long tradition. Indeeed, many of our former members have significantly contributed to the development of this branch of phytogeography and phytosociology, respectively.
During the first years the association resembled more a small study group the members of which intensively discussed on field trips, workshops and meetings and presented their studies thus leading to new findings. Further information about the first years can be found in the Tuexen-Festschrift as well as the festschrift on the occasion of the 50-year-anniversary (Mitteilungen Neue Folge 14 (1969) and 19/20 (1977)).
After the Second World War and with the extension on all over Germany as well as the neighbouring countries the number of members has grown rapidly. In the 70s, the association had more than 900 members; in the 80s more than 1000 and presently, even more than 1300. The annual meetings which took place for the first time in 1950 (Stolzenau /Weser) have developed to important meetings of people interested in phytogeography, that use this opportunity for continuing their education and establishing contacts or keeping in touch. However, in recent years, these meetings have increasingly expanded to huge events, having lost the familial character of former times. Nevertheless, they have always successfully been organised by local experts.
During the past 70 years until 1998, the often time-consuming work of the executive committee has only been done by three different chairmen, Reinhold Tüxen, Heinz Ellenberg and Hartmut Dierschke, which is very particular for such an association. Since, over the years, the members had become younger and the work of the executive committee had constantly been growing, the executive committee was extended by younger members in 1998.
Besides the annual meetings and excursions the member’s journal has always been the second pillar of the association. After 5 volumes of “Mitteilungen” until 1939 and 22 volumes of “Neue Folge” published between 1949 and 1980, 29 volumes of “Tuexenia” have been published since 1981. As one of the leading German-speaking journals of phytogeography with a circulation of presently 1650 copies “Tuexenia” has got a wide-spread audience even abroad, which is above all supported by the international exchange of journals. Numerous interesting articles written by our members have contributed to the success of “Tuexenia”.
The publication of volume 17 was accompanied by the extension of the editorial board. Since then, all incoming articles have been reviewed by a well established anonymous reviewing procedure. Each article is reviewed by two reviewers who are members of an advisory board consisting of 20 experts. Moreover, each article has to come up to the international standard of formal criteria, requiring abstracts as well as keywords.
The number of published scientific articles is presently doubling every 10 years (or even faster), i.e. the number of articles published during the past 10 years corresponds to the total number of articles published until then. Today the effectiveness of print products is more and more being disputed in favour of publishing via electronic media. This leads to the question if the publication of a journal like “Tuexenia” will be reasonable in the long run. Do articles published in such a journal really present long-ranging results, since most of the research results published today become obsolete and uninteresting within only a few years? We say: yes!
The floristic-sociological workgroup and their publication TUEXENIA