Subalpine deciduous scrub

Description (English)

Low scrub, including krummholz, dominated by various deciduous trees and shrubs, on moist but free-draining, sometimes quite fertile, soils on high mountain slopes throughout Europe, often with long snow-lie and prone to natural disturbance due to avalanche and scree slides, after which it is well able to recover and recolonise. The associated flora can be rich in tall mountain herbs. It can also be found as a secondary succession stage in abandoned subalpine pastures and meadows.

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code S2-5

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Indicator species

Diagnostic species
Constant species
Dominant species
Flowering Plants Alnus viridis
Flowering Plants Viola biflora
Flowering Plants Peucedanum ostruthium
Flowering Plants Adenostyles alliariae
Flowering Plants Saxifraga rotundifolia
Flowering Plants Salix waldsteiniana
Flowering Plants Salix appendiculata
Flowering Plants Rumex alpestris
Flowering Plants Salix helvetica
Flowering Plants Geranium sylvaticum
Ferns Athyrium distentifolium
Flowering Plants Achillea macrophylla
Flowering Plants Aconitum napellus
Flowering Plants Chaerophyllum villarsii
Flowering Plants Cicerbita alpina
Flowering Plants Rhododendron hirsutum
Ferns Polystichum lonchitis
Flowering Plants Epilobium alpestre
Flowering Plants Veratrum album
Flowering Plants Cymbalaria hepaticifolia

Diagnostic species occur concentrated in the habitat in question, but are absent or rare in other habitats. They are good positive indicators of the habitat, but they do not need to occur in every location of the habitat.

Species scientific name English common name Species group
Alnus viridis Flowering Plants
Viola biflora Flowering Plants
Peucedanum ostruthium Flowering Plants
Adenostyles alliariae Flowering Plants
Saxifraga rotundifolia Flowering Plants
Salix waldsteiniana Flowering Plants
Salix appendiculata Flowering Plants
Rumex alpestris Flowering Plants
Salix helvetica Flowering Plants
Geranium sylvaticum Flowering Plants
Athyrium distentifolium Ferns
Achillea macrophylla Flowering Plants
Aconitum napellus Flowering Plants
Chaerophyllum villarsii Flowering Plants
Cicerbita alpina Flowering Plants
Rhododendron hirsutum Flowering Plants
Polystichum lonchitis Ferns
Epilobium alpestre Flowering Plants
Veratrum album Flowering Plants
Cymbalaria hepaticifolia Flowering Plants
Flowering Plants Alnus viridis
Flowering Plants Viola biflora
Flowering Plants Geranium sylvaticum
Flowering Plants Vaccinium myrtillus
Flowering Plants Sorbus aucuparia
Flowering Plants Adenostyles alliariae
Flowering Plants Rubus idaeus
Flowering Plants Saxifraga rotundifolia
Flowering Plants Peucedanum ostruthium
Flowering Plants Solidago virgaurea
Flowering Plants Rumex alpestris
Flowering Plants Homogyne alpina
Flowering Plants Veratrum album
Ferns Dryopteris filix-mas
Flowering Plants Salix appendiculata
Ferns Dryopteris dilatata
Flowering Plants Stellaria nemorum
Flowering Plants Oxalis acetosella
Flowering Plants Deschampsia cespitosa
Ferns Athyrium filix-femina

Constant species occur frequently in the habitat, but they may include generalist species that are also frequent in other habitats.

Species scientific name English common name Species group
Alnus viridis Flowering Plants
Viola biflora Flowering Plants
Geranium sylvaticum Flowering Plants
Vaccinium myrtillus Flowering Plants
Sorbus aucuparia Flowering Plants
Adenostyles alliariae Flowering Plants
Rubus idaeus Flowering Plants
Saxifraga rotundifolia Flowering Plants
Peucedanum ostruthium Flowering Plants
Solidago virgaurea Flowering Plants
Rumex alpestris Flowering Plants
Homogyne alpina Flowering Plants
Veratrum album Flowering Plants
Dryopteris filix-mas Ferns
Salix appendiculata Flowering Plants
Dryopteris dilatata Ferns
Stellaria nemorum Flowering Plants
Oxalis acetosella Flowering Plants
Deschampsia cespitosa Flowering Plants
Athyrium filix-femina Ferns
Flowering Plants Alnus viridis
Flowering Plants Salix helvetica
Flowering Plants Rhamnus alpinus
Flowering Plants Adenostyles alliariae
Flowering Plants Salix waldsteiniana
Flowering Plants Salix silesiaca
Flowering Plants Salix appendiculata

Dominant species are those that often reach high cover in the habitat, thus determining the habitat physiognomy.

Species scientific name English common name Species group
Alnus viridis Flowering Plants
Salix helvetica Flowering Plants
Rhamnus alpinus Flowering Plants
Adenostyles alliariae Flowering Plants
Salix waldsteiniana Flowering Plants
Salix silesiaca Flowering Plants
Salix appendiculata Flowering Plants

Other classifications

Not available For relation to plant communities (syntaxa), see Vegetation types

History

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type Comment
EUNIS Habitat Classification 2007 (revised descriptions 2012) F2.3 Subalpine deciduous scrub same new description
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200410 F2.3 Subalpine deciduous scrub same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200308 F2.3 Subalpine deciduous scrub same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 F2.3 Subalpine and oroboreal bush communities same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199910 F2.3 Subalpine deciduous scrub same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199811 F1.1 Montane and subalpine scrub same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199712 F1.1 Montane and subarctic scrub same
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 199905 31.6 Subalpine bush communities same
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 1997 31.6 Subalpine bush communities same
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 1996 31.6   same
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 1993 31.6   same
CORINE Biotopes Classification 1991 31.6   same
CORINE Biotopes Classification 1989 31.6   same
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