Ladislav Mucina  from Murdoch University in Perth Australia.

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    Professor Ladislav Mucina
    Mag.rer.nat. (Comenius Univ), Dr.rer.nat. (Comenius Univ), PhD (Slovak Acad. Sci.), Dr. rer. nat. habil. (TU Berlin)

    Iluka Chair of Vegetation Science & Biogeography

    About me

    My scientific interests span descriptive vegetation science (especially vegetation surveys, classification and mapping), biosystematics, molecular phylogeny, population ecology, evolutionary biology, biogeography, biodiversity science, environmental management, plant community restoration, and conservation biology. My major scientific contributions include the three-volume opus on vegetation survey of Austria, book describing vegetation and vegetation map of mega-diverse South Africa, and a syntaxonomic system for Europe. International Association for Vegetation Science is my scientific home and I have served the Association as Associate and Chief Editor of Journal of Vegetation Science and Applied Vegetation Science, Vice-President, Secretary-General, and as an evergreen member of the Advisory Council. In 2017 I was elected Honorary Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and in 2018 I was awarded the Honorary Membership of the IAVS. My teaching engagements so far include universities on four continents – Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. My publication list scores more than 430 papers and 28 books.At present I serve as the Iluka Chair at the Harry Butler Institute, Murdoch University, engaging in applied post-mining restoration research, evolutionary biology, and vegetation surveying methodology.

    Research areas

    Vegetation Science & Ecology

    - vegetation surveys, classification and mapping

    - theory of vegetation science

    - ecological and evolutionary plant community assembly

    - post-mining rehabilitation

    - functional traits and syndromes

    - biome ecology and evolution


    - assembly of regional flora

    - historical biogeography using modern genomic techniques

    - evolution of plant niches in geographic context

    - mapping of global biomes

    Plant Systematics

    - taxonomy and molecular phylogeny in selected genera in Asteraceae, Plumbaginaceae, Plantaginaceae

    - discovery and description of new species

    Conservation Biology

    - spatial spects of phylogenetic diversity and searching for evolutionary hot-spots

    - conservation assessment of rare and threatened flora

    - quantification of vegetation condition



    Current projects

    Ongoing research projects

    ARC Linkage LP150100339: Improving vegetation restoration outcomes by using insights from trait-based community assembly mechanisms (2015-2019)

    Relationships among plant types and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal traits at a global scale (Estonia)

    iPlots: Project #21 – Reaching for the sky: Unravelling global patterns and processes to explain convergent evolution of woodiness in angiosperms (sDiv, Germany)

    iPlot: Project #22 – A macroecological survey of intraspecific plant trait variation (sDiv, Germany)

    DarkDivNet: Dark diversity patterns on global scale (Estonia)

    SOIL DarkDivNet: Soil dark diversity patterns on global scale (Univ. NSW)

    Caryophyllacees Network: Taxonomy of Caryophyllales (Free Univ. Berlin, Germany)

    TRY: Data Contribution (TRY Consortium, Germany)

    WA Vegetation Plot Database (UWA, Murdoch)

    WA Trait Database (UWA, Murdoch)

    Biomes of southern Africa (L. Mucina, M.C. Rutherford, A. van Niekerk, L.W. Powrie)

    Biomes of Australia (P. Macintyre, L. Mucina)

    Zonal biomes of Southern Hemisphere (invited review paper)


    Awards and grants


    1980      Prize of the Slovak Literary Foundation for Scientific Literature

    1990        Citizenship of the Republic of Austria on Merit, by the act of the Parliament of the Republic of Austria and the Bundesland Wien

    2004     Compton Prize (awarded by SANBI and South African Association of Botanists) for the Best Paper in South African Journal of Botany for 2003: (Rutherford, M.C., Mucina, L. & Powrie, L.W. 2003. Nama-karoo veld types revisited: a numerical analysis of original Acocks’ field data. S. Afr. J. Bot. 69: 52-61.)

    2011     2011 Don Bradley Prize for Excellence in African Herpetology (awarded by the Herpetological Association of Africa for paper Meyer, A., Mouton, P.LeF. & Mucina, L. 2010: The biogeographical influence of the Tankwa Karoo Basin on reptile distribution in south-western South Africa. African Journal of Herpetology 59: 53-64.)

    2011    Compton Prize (awarded by SANBI and South African Association of Botanists) for the Best Paper in South African Journal of Botany for 2009 (Clark, V.R., Barker, N.P. & Mucina, L. 2009. The Sneeuberg: A new centre of floristic endemism on the Great Escarpment, South Africa. South African Journal of Botany 75: 196-238.)

    2016     Award of the Holuby Medal by the Slovak Botanical Society, for life-time achievement in botany (22 March 2016)

    2016     Elected Honorary Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary (2 May 2016)

    2018     Honorary Member of the International Association for Vegetation Science (22 July 2018)



    2010                 Naming of a lichen species in my honour – Xanthoparmelia mucinae (Parmeliaceae); Amo de Paz, G., Lumbsch, H.T., Cubas, P., John A. Elix, J.A. & Crespo, A. 2010. The genus Karoowia (Parmeliaceae, Ascomycota) includes unrelated clades nested within Xanthoparmelia. Australian Systematic Botany 23: 173–184.

    2013                 Naming of an angiosperm plant genus n my honour – Mucinaea (Mucinaea nana; Hyacinthaceae); Pinter, M., Crespo, M.B., Ilg, I., Luidold, A.K., Martínez-Azorín, M., Müller-Doblies, U., Müller-Doblies, D., Pfosser, M. & Wetschnig, W. 2013. Mucinaea (Hyacinthaceae-Urgineoideae), a remarkable new genus from Namaqualand (Northern Cape Province, South Africa). Phyton (Horn, Austria) 53: 289–304.

    2015                 Naming of another angiosperm new genus in my honour – Lacomucinaea  (Lacomucinaea lineata; Thesiaceae); Nickernt, D.l. & Garcia, M.A. 2015. Lacomucinaea, a new monotypic genus in Thesiaceae (Santalales). Phytotaxa 224 (2): 173–184.

    Doctoral and masters supervisions


    Candidates (honours, masters, doctoral) in terested working in the fields of vegetation ecology (vegetation survey & mapping), plant ecology, plant taxonomy, evolutionary biology, biosystematics, biodiversity science, and conservation biology are encouraged to contact me using: 


    Recent post-graduate students and currently under supervision:

    School of Plant Biology, The University of Western Australia, since 2013

    §  G. Ottaviani: Using plant functional trait approach to determine climate-change driven dynamics of plant community assembly on granite outcrops of Western Australia (commenced in September 2011 at Curtin Univ.; transferred to UWA in May 2013; graduated in December 2015); PRINC-COOR

    §  J. Tsakalos: Trait-based approach to community assembly in species-rich kwongan shrublands (commenced in January 2014: passed May 2019); PRINC-COOR

    §  F. Riviera: Post-disturbance recovery pathways in species-rich kwongan shrublands (commenced in March 2014; submitted in December 2018); PRINC-COOR

    §  T. Hammer: Molecular systematics and novel character evolution within Ptilotus and the Aervoids (Amaranthaceae) (commenced in July 2015; due June 2019); Forrest Doctoral Fellow; PRINC-COOR (now external CO-SUPER)

    §  P. Macintyre: Vegetation patterns and biogeography of kwongan shrublands of Western Australia (commenced on 20 January 2016; due 2019); PRINC-COOR (now external CO-SUPER)

    §  E. Trevenen: Predicting plant community resilience based on patterns of structural and functional change throughout natural succession and assisted restoration. (commenced on 18 April 2016; due 2019); external CO-SUPER

    School of Chemistry, Curtin University, since 2017

    §  C. Wuchter: Living and dying under high stress: geobiochemical aspects of fossilization and environmental drivers shaping flexibility of carbon-utilization of plants in saline environments (commenced in April 2017; due 2019); external CO-SUPER



    Mucina, L. 2019. Biome: Evolution of a crucial ecological and biogeographical concept. New Phytologist 222: 97–114. doi: 10.1111/nph.15609 (published online in 2018)

    Jakoet, A., Mucina, L. & Magee, A.R. 2019. The pseudo-radiate buttons: A taxonomic revision of the Cotula turbinata group (Asteraceae; Anthemideae) and the description of two new species. South African Journal of Botany 121: 282–293. (published online on 4 December 2018)

    Ottaviani, G., Keppel, G., Marcantonio, M., Mucina, L. & Wardell-Johnson, G. 2019. Woody species in resource-rich microrefugia of granite outcrops display unique functional signatures. doi:10.1111/aec.12745 (online)

    Chytrý, M., Chiarucci, A., Pärtel, M., Pillar, V.D., Bakker, J.P., Mucina, L., Peet, R.K. & White, P.S. 2019. Progress in vegetation science: trends over the past three decades and new horizons. Journal of Vegetation Science. doi: 10.1111/jvs.12697 (online)

    Martinez-Azorin, M., Crespo, M.B., Alonso-Vargas, M.A., Dold, A.P., Crouch, N.R., Pfosser, M., Mucina, L., Pinter, M. & Wetchnig, W. 2019. New combinations in tribe Urgineeae (Asparagaceae subfam. Scilloideae) with comments on contrasting taxonomic treatments. Phytotaxa. (online)

    Tsakalos, J.L., Renton, M., Dobrowolski, M.P., Veneklaas, E.J., Macintyre, P.D., Jones, S. & Mucina, L. 2019. Composition and ecological drivers of the kwongan scrub and woodlands in the northern Swan Coastal Plain, Western Australia. Austral Ecology.  doi:10.1111/aec.12759 (online)



    Mucina, L. (ed.), 2018. Vegetation Survey and Classification of Subtropical Forests of Southern Africa. Springer, Dordrecht. ISBN: 978-3-319-67830-6

    Other publications

    Mucina, L. 2018. Preface. Mucina, L. (ed.), Vegetation Survey and Classification of Subtropical Forests of Southern Africa. pp. vii-x. Springer, Dordrecht.

    Mucina, L. 2018. Classifying subtropical forests of South Africa: Rationale and objectives. Mucina, L. (ed.), Vegetation Survey and Classification of Sutbropical Forests of Southern Africa. pp. 1–6. Springer, Dordrecht. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-67831-3_1

    Mucina, L., Tichý, L. & Van Niekerk, A. 2018. Classifying subtropical forests of South Africa: Data sources and methods. In: Mucina, L. (ed.), Vegetation Survey and Classification of Subtropical Forests of Southern Africa. pp. 7–45. Springer, Dordrecht. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-67831-3_2

    Mucina, L. & Tichý, L. 2018. Forest classification: Data-analytical experiments on vertical forest layering and flattened data. In: Mucina, L. (ed.), Vegetation Survey and Classification of Subtropical Forests of Southern Africa. pp. 47–57. Springer, Dordrecht. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-67831-3_3

    Mucina, L., Dold, A.P., Tichý, L. & Van Niekerk, A. 2018. Classification of the Albany Coastal Forests. In: Mucina, L. (ed.), Vegetation Survey and Classification of Subtropical Forests of Southern Africa. pp. 59–90. Springer, Dordrecht. Doi:10.1007/978-3-319-67831-3_4

    Mucina, L. (ed.), Vegetation Survey and Classification of Subtropical Forests of Southern Africa. pp. 91-124. Springer, Dordrecht. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-67831-3_5

    Lötter, M.C., Mucina, L., Tichý, L., Siebert, S. & Scott-Shaw, C.R. 2018. Classification of the Eastern Scarp Forests. In: Mucina, L. (ed.), Vegetation Survey and Classification of Subtropical Forests of Southern Africa. pp. 125–226. Springer, Dordrecht. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-67831-3_6

    Mucina, L. 2018. Lessons for a forest vegetation survey. In: Mucina, L. (ed.), Vegetation Survey and Classification of Subtropical Forests of Southern Africa. pp. 227–236. Springer, Dordrecht. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-67831-3_7

    Lysenko, T.M. & Mucina, L. 2018. Sovremennaya klassifikatsiya Sistema galofitnoi rastitel’nosti Evropy. [Current classification system for the halophytic vegetation of Europe.] In: Budantsev, A.L. (ed.), Botanika v soremennom mire. Tom. II. [Botany of the current world. Volume II.]. pp. 93–96. Russkoe botanicheskoe soobshchestvo, Makhachkala. ISBN 978-5-00128-022-4

    Mucina, L. 2018. Vegetation of Brazilian campos rupestres on siliceous substrates and their global analogues. Flora 238: 11–23.

    Ottaviani, G., Tsakalos, J., Keppel, G., Mucina, L. 2018. Quantifying ecological constraints on traits expression in plant communities using novel parameters of trait-gradient analysis. Ecology & Evolution 8: 435–440.

    Lengyel, A., Landucci, F., Mucina, L., Tsakalos, J. & Botta-Dukát, Z. 2018. Joint optimization of cluster number and abundance transformation for obtaining effective vegetation classifications. Journal of Vegetation Science 29: 336–347. doi:10.1111/jvs.12604

    De Smedt, P., Ottaviani, G., Wardell-Johnson, G., Sýkora, K.V. & Mucina, L. 2018. Habitat heterogeneity promotes intraspecific trait variability of shrub species in Australian granite inselbergs. Folia Geobotanica 53: 133145.

    Matevski, V., Čarni, A., Ćušterevska, R., Kostadinovski, M. & Mucina, L. 2018. Syntaxonomy and biogeography of dry grasslands on calcareous substrates in the Central and Southern Balkans. Applied Vegetation Science 21: 488–513. doi:10.1111/avsc.12374

    Macintyre, P., Van Niekerk, A., Dobrowolski, M., Tsakalos, J. & Mucina, L. 2018. Impact of ecological redundancy on the performance of machine learning classifiers in vegetation mapping. Ecology & Evolution 8: 6728–6737. doi:10.1002/ece3.4176

    Mucina, L., Feoli, E. & Podani, J. 2018. David W. Goodall (1914–2018): An ecologist of the century. Community Ecology 19: 93–101. doi:10.1556/168.2018.19.1.10

    Hammer, T.A., Macintyre, P.D., Nge, F.J., Davis, R.W., Mucina, L. & Thiele, K.R. 2018. The noble and the exalted: a multidisciplinary approach toresolving a taxonomic controversy within Ptilotus(Amaranthaceae). Australian Systematic Botany 31: 262–280.

    Tsakalos, J.L., Renton, M., Dobrowolski, M.P., Feoli, E., Macintyre, P.D., Veneklaas, E. & Mucina, L. 2018. Community patterns and environmental drivers in hyper-diverse kwongan scrub vegetation of Western Australia. Applied Vegetation Science. doi: 10.1111/avsc.12399

    Keppel, G., Ottaviani, G., Harrison, S., Wardell-Johnson, G.W., Marcantonio, M. & Mucina, L. 2018. Towards an eco-evolutionary understanding of endemism hotspots and refugia.  Annals of Botany. doi: 10.1093/aob/mcy173

    García, M.A., Nickrent, D.L. & Mucina, L. 2018. Thesium nautimontanum, a new species of Thesiaceae (Santalales) from South Africa. PhytoKeys 109: 41–51.

    Takawira-Nyenya, R., Mucina, L., Cardinal-McTeague, W.M. & Thiele, K.R 2018. Sansevieria (Asparagaceae, Nolinoideae) is a herbaceous clade within Dracaena: Inference from non-coding plastid and nuclear DNA sequence data. Phytotaxa 376(2): 254–276.