Numerous vegetational analyses have been conducted for West Berlin (cf. Methodology) since 1960. These analyses represent in principle all spontaneous and half-spontaneous vegetation types in West Berlin. Summaries of these analyses were made within the framework of the Species Preservation Program for Berlin (West) (cf. AG Artenschutzprogramm 1984). These reports were of particular importance in constructing the medium-scale Map of Vegetation. The reports systematically describe vegetation in West Berlin in connection with the constituted biotope types, and point out correlations between vegetation in settled areas and land use. Vegetation in outer areas, however, still has a recognizable relationship to natural conditions.
Böcker and Sukopp produced some of the first map-like portrayals of real vegetation in a German city in the framework of an interdisciplinary research project “Ecological Maps of Berlin (West)” at the Technical University (TU) of Berlin, and as a map in the Berlin Environmental Atlas (cf. Map 05.02, SenStadtUm 1985). The phytosociological delimitation of many vegetational units in the present map are based on this 1985 Vegetation Map, particularly in agricultural and forest areas as well as other more near-natural areas. More ecologically-oriented papers have further contributed to our understanding of urban vegetation, such as Sukopp et al. 1980 and Sukopp 1990.
The data situation for East Berlin is considerably more difficult. Before 1989 no systematic monitoring of urban vegetation was carried out (cf. Klemm 1987). Scientific vegetation studies had only been conducted in a few nature preserves. The situation has not changed much in the past few years, although reports now exist on vegetation in nature preserve areas and a few on urban vegetation in a strict sense (cf. Gründel et al. 1993). These more recent papers were also consulted in constructing the Vegetation Type Map (Source directory in Seidling 1994).
The studies cited here were used to develop regulations for differentiating between land use types and vegetation types (cf. Methodology). Area types and their spatial distribution were taken from the area type files of the Environmental Information System (EIS) of the Berlin Department of Urban Development and were actualised on the status of September 1999. Only in large area types of uniform land use, such as forests, big parks and larger bodies of water, were further subdivisions made within existing blocks in order to categorize different vegetation types.
Additional criteria had to be drawn upon to differentiate between different vegetation types in areas of non-uniform vegetation, such as “security, order and police”, and open spaces with various vegetation formations (e.g. cemetaries, parks, vacant lots). This additional information was obtained for parks, for example, by size estimations. Aerial photography was often used to classify individual areas or to delimit entire vegetation types, as in delimiting macrophytic vegetation in outer areas such as the upper Spree-Dahme area (Oberspree-Dahme-Bereich) (1990 CIR aerial photographs), and for many dry grassland areas.
Differentiated classifications for agricultural areas were mostly made on the basis of soil communities (cf. Map 01.01, SenStadtUmTech 1997a, 1997b). A number of existing studies were referred to for the many small-area biotope types, such as bogs, sloughs, and dry grasslands, etc: e.g. Map 05.03 (SenStadtUmTech 1996a, 1996g) “Valuable Areas for Flora and Fauna” from the 1996 Environmental Atlas as well as the corresponding data collection (Plantage 1993). A detailed source directory can be found in the Seidling report 1994. Wooded areas in West Berlin as well as vegetation units and their spatial delimitation were taken from Map 05.02, SenStadtUm 1985. Vegetation types in East Berlin forests were constructed and interpreted based on Forest Location Maps (LaFoBr 1992), and the small-scale maps of Scamoni et al.1964 and Krausch 1992.
Heinrich and Rohner 1992 were additionally consulted to form combination communities (cf. Methodology) for planted vegetation. The Heinrich and Rohner study provides data for individual strata (layers) about the degree of coverage and is oriented towards biotope types.
An estimation of hemerobiotic levels of wooded areas was made for each forest section and is mainly based on categories established by Bornkamm 1980. Current maps of age and inventory structure were used (cf. Seidling 1993 and Map 05.04, SenStadtUmTech 1996b, 1997c).