Raunkiær plant life-form
The subdivisions of the Raunkiær system are based on the place of the plant's growth-point (bud) during seasons with adverse conditions (cold seasons, dry seasons):
Projecting into the air on stems – normally woody perennials - with resting buds more than 25 cms above soil level, e.g. trees and shrubs, but also epiphytes, which Raunkiær separated out as a special group in later versions of the system.
May be further subdivided according to plant height in megaphanerophytes, mesophanerophytes and nanophanerophytes and other characters, such as duration of leaves (evergreen or deciduous), presence of covering bracts on buds, succulence and epiphytism.
- only stem leaves
- Partial rosette plants
- both stem and basal rosette leaves
- Rosette plants
- only basal rosette leaves
Below ground or under water - with resting buds lying either beneath the surface of the ground as a rhizome, bulb, corm, etc., or a resting bud submerged under water. Cryptophytes are divided into 3 groups:
Annual plants which survive the unfavorable season in the form of seeds and complete their life-cycle during favorable seasons. Annual species are therophytes. Many desert plants are by necessity therophytes.
New addition to the Raunkiaer lifeform classification. Plant that obtains moisture (though not through haustoria) and nutrients from the air and rain; usually grows on other plants but not parasitic on them. This includes some Tillandsia species, as well as staghorn ferns.
Originally placed in Phanerophytes (above) but then separated because of irrelevance of soil position.
- Raunkiær, C. (1904) Om biologiske Typer, med Hensyn til Planternes Tilpasninger til at overleve ugunstige Aarstider. Botanisk Tidsskrift 26, p. XIV.
- Ch. 1 in Raunkiær (1934): Biological types with reference to the adaption of plants to survive the unfavourable season, p. 1.
- Raunkiær, C. (1905) Types biologiques pour la géographie botanique. Oversigt over Det Kongelige Danske Videnskabernes Selskabs Forhandlinger, 1905, 347-438.
- Raunkiær, C. (1907) Planterigets Livsformer og deres Betydning for Geografien. Gyldendalske Boghandel - Nordisk Forlag, København and Kristiania. 132 pp.
- Ch. 2 in Raunkiær (1934): The life-forms of plants and their bearings on geography, p. 2-104.
- Raunkiær, C. (1934) The Life Forms of Plants and Statistical Plant Geography, being the collected papers of C. Raunkiær. Oxford University Press, Oxford. Reprinted 1978 (ed. by Frank N. Egerton), Ayer Co Pub., in the "History of Ecology Series". ISBN 0-405-10418-9
- Müller-Dombois, D. & H. Ellenberg (1974) Aims and methoods in vegetation ecology. John Wiley & Sons, New York. Reprint 2003, Blackburn Press, ISBN 1-930665-73-3
- Shimwell, D.W. (1971) The Description and Classification of Vegetation. Sidgwick & Jackson, London.
- Galán de Mera, A., M. A. Hagen & J. A. Vicente Orellana (1999) Aerophyte, a New Life Form in Raunkiaer's Classification? Journal of Vegetation Science 10 (1): 65-68