During 2002 and 2003 27 phytosociological relevés were carried out at 25 sites along the Etsch riverbanks between Meran and Salurn.The following vegetation types were found:
- The more or less natural woodland communities are poor in species and partly resemble riverine forests: Alnetum incanae, Salicetum albae and substitute-communities with Robinia pseudacacia and Populus nigra.
- Among the plant communities representing successional stages are the two pioneer communities Echinochloo-Setarietum pumilae and Polygono lapathifolii-Bidentetum, as well as river-bank communities resembling communities of clear-cuttings with an affinity to the Robinia-Populus nigra woods and to the Salicetea purpureae (“riverine willow-forests”), respectively. Furthermore, willow-reed communities dominated by different Salix species were found which are supposed to develop into Salicetea purpureae-communities.
- Grassland communities include semiruderal dry grassland (Convolvulo-Agropyrion repentis) and a meadow (Molinio-Arrhenatheretea).The vegetation of the river banks is characterized by the dominance of alien species which prevent the development of typical plant communities which otherwise would be typical for such habitats. In almost all study sites the water supply is low due to the lack of river dynamics.