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Bundesamt für Naturschutz

Alpine rivers and the herbaceous vegetation along their banks

Natural and near-natural watercourses of the Alps and their foothills (predominantly in the submontane to alpine zones) with their gravel banks and banks hosting herbaceous vegetation (Epilobietalia fleischeri p.p.). Also species-rich patchy vegetation on accumulations of gravel and shingle in contact with the watercourse with Epilobium fleischeri or Chondrilla chondrilloides.

Natura 2000-Code

Notes on habitat mapping

The criterion for the delimitation of this habitat type is the presence of vegetation of the syntaxa given above alongside watercourses of the Alps and their foothills.

Since this habitat type is subject to strong dynamics, accumulations of shingle which are temporarily free of vegetation are to be included. Depending on water levels and flow dynamics the location of gravel banks can change substantially throughout the year.

The delimitation should include coherent sections of the watercourse which at least in part host the relevant vegetation. This includes both the actual watercourse and its banks.

Areas that are dominated by shrubs are excluded and should be considered under the habitat type Alpine rivers and their ligneous vegetation with Myricaria germanica (3230) or Alpine rivers and their ligneous vegetation with Salix elaeagnos (3240).


Near-natural alpine rivers and their gravel banks (3220, 3230, 3240) should be combined into one habitat type. For the purposes of their protection the entire streamside flood area should be proposed for designation under the Habitats Directive and should also be regarded as a functional unit for management purposes.

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