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European dry heaths


NATURA 2000 Code: 4030

Definition:

Humid to dry heaths, dominated by ericaceous species, with few or no trees, from the non-coastal lowlands to the low mountain ranges, and the Alps, on siliceous soils or soils in which the calcium has been leached from the surface layers. These include the lowland Calluna heaths, facies rich in crowberry or bilberry, and the montane heaths of higher altitudes.


Notes on habitat mapping:

This habitat type is intermediate between the coastal heaths which are influenced by salt and wind ( 2310,  2320) and the susalpine to alpine heaths ( 4060). It only includes the dry to humid facies; heather moors with Cross-leaved heath for example Ericion tetralicis, habitat type  4010) are excluded. The delimitation and assignment of examples of this habitat type in the field is primarily to be based on their phytosociological characteristics. The two sub-types are to be distinguished. Stands which display a high degree of scrub incursion or uncontrolled grass growth can be difficult to assign. As a general rule, examples with <75% scrub or <75% uncontrolled grass growth should not be assigned to the dry heaths. Linear facies in secondary habitats such as along paths or on embankments should not be included. Small occurrences should only be included if their species composition is easily assignable to this habitat type. Small discontinuous stands should not normally be included.

Any areas with substantial amounts of juniper should be considered under  Juniperus communis formations (55130). Stands of this vegetation on inland dunes should be considered under  Inland dunes with Calluna heaths (2310).

Any areas of  wet heath with Erica tetralix where the proportion of Calluna in the dwarf shrub cover is less than 50% are to be considered under (4010) and may at most cover small areas within the site. In recording and delimiting this habitat type it is particularly important that all developmental stages of Calluna heaths (pioneer, building, mature, and degenerative) are considered. Many of the species inhabiting this habitat type are closely linked to particular developmental stages, or have their optimum in a particular stage, or move between the very differently structured phases. To this end the habitat type should, if possible, be delimited in such a way that all existing developmental stages are included.


Additional notes:

The southern German 'juniper heaths' ('Wacholderheiden') are grazed  semi-dry grassland complexes with juniper scrub (5130).


Last Change: 19/12/2011

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