Li M, Kräuchi N, Yang J (2002) Hemeroby - A method to assess the naturalness of vegetation. Progress in Geography, 21 (5): 450-458.


ground vegetation, ground vegetation/understorey vegetation, Methods: methodology, methodology


Present plant/forest communities are the result of long-term interactions between vegetation and site factors including man-made impacts. Present vegetation in the cultural landscape shows graduations of different intensities of human activities in the past. To assess the degree of naturalness and/or the anthropogenic influences on the present vegetation/forests, the concept of hemeroby is often used. The degree of hemeroby is defined as degree of human cultural activities; at the same time it is a degree of distance to the natural state of vegetation. Such a natural state of vegetation may be pristine vegetation or potential natural vegetation. Because pristine vegetation was destroyed or modified by the humankind all over on the earth, the basis of naturalness assessment is the present potential natural vegetation including successive development under today’s site conditions. The evaluation of the level of hemeroby can be used as an ecological tool that has been widely applied to ecology of agriculture, forestry, water, landscape, urban and nature reserves. This paper discusses the concept of hemeroby and its application including field observation.

LWF Classification

Network: LWF, Category: non-ISI(rev/non-rev?),