Wet heath

Description (English)

Heath with prominent Erica tetralix on shallow, acid, nutrient-poor peats and peaty mineral soils, kept moist for much of the year and often seasonally waterlogged, through the Atlantic and sub-Atlantic lowlands and foothills of Europe. Typically occurring in wet depressions and seepage areas within dry heaths or as a marginal zone around bogs where drainage of deeper peats can increase its extent. In milder oceanic climates, other Erica and Ulex spp. occur in richer humid heath. Frequently influenced by burning, grazing and sod-cutting.

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code S4-1
Relation to Resolution 4 habitat type (used for designation of Emerald sites)

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Indicator species

Diagnostic species
Constant species
Dominant species
Flowering Plants Erica tetralix
Mosses & Liverworts Sphagnum compactum
Flowering Plants Trichophorum cespitosum
Flowering Plants Calluna vulgaris
Flowering Plants Narthecium ossifragum
Flowering Plants Juncus squarrosus
Flowering Plants Drosera rotundifolia
Mosses & Liverworts Sphagnum tenellum
Mosses & Liverworts Sphagnum papillosum
Flowering Plants Drosera intermedia
Mosses & Liverworts Odontoschisma sphagni
Flowering Plants Salix repens
Flowering Plants Gentiana pneumonanthe
Mosses & Liverworts Hypnum jutlandicum
Fungi Cladonia portentosa
Flowering Plants Eriophorum angustifolium
Flowering Plants Rhynchospora alba
Flowering Plants Rhynchospora fusca
Flowering Plants Polygala serpyllifolia

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
Erica tetralix Flowering Plants
Sphagnum compactum Mosses & Liverworts
Trichophorum cespitosum Flowering Plants
Calluna vulgaris Flowering Plants
Narthecium ossifragum Flowering Plants
Juncus squarrosus Flowering Plants
Drosera rotundifolia Flowering Plants
Sphagnum tenellum Mosses & Liverworts
Sphagnum papillosum Mosses & Liverworts
Drosera intermedia Flowering Plants
Odontoschisma sphagni Mosses & Liverworts
Salix repens Flowering Plants
Gentiana pneumonanthe Flowering Plants
Hypnum jutlandicum Mosses & Liverworts
Cladonia portentosa Fungi
Eriophorum angustifolium Flowering Plants
Rhynchospora alba Flowering Plants
Rhynchospora fusca Flowering Plants
Polygala serpyllifolia Flowering Plants
Flowering Plants Erica tetralix
Flowering Plants Calluna vulgaris
Flowering Plants Potentilla erecta
Flowering Plants Trichophorum cespitosum
Flowering Plants Eriophorum angustifolium
Flowering Plants Drosera rotundifolia
Flowering Plants Narthecium ossifragum
Flowering Plants Juncus squarrosus
Mosses & Liverworts Hypnum jutlandicum
Mosses & Liverworts Sphagnum papillosum
Mosses & Liverworts Sphagnum compactum
Flowering Plants Carex panicea
Flowering Plants Salix repens
Flowering Plants Betula pubescens
Mosses & Liverworts Sphagnum tenellum
Conifers Pinus sylvestris
Mosses & Liverworts Hypnum cupressiforme
Flowering Plants Eriophorum vaginatum
Fungi Cladonia portentosa

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
Erica tetralix Flowering Plants
Calluna vulgaris Flowering Plants
Potentilla erecta Flowering Plants
Trichophorum cespitosum Flowering Plants
Eriophorum angustifolium Flowering Plants
Drosera rotundifolia Flowering Plants
Narthecium ossifragum Flowering Plants
Juncus squarrosus Flowering Plants
Hypnum jutlandicum Mosses & Liverworts
Sphagnum papillosum Mosses & Liverworts
Sphagnum compactum Mosses & Liverworts
Carex panicea Flowering Plants
Salix repens Flowering Plants
Betula pubescens Flowering Plants
Sphagnum tenellum Mosses & Liverworts
Pinus sylvestris Conifers
Hypnum cupressiforme Mosses & Liverworts
Eriophorum vaginatum Flowering Plants
Cladonia portentosa Fungi
Flowering Plants Erica tetralix
Flowering Plants Calluna vulgaris
Mosses & Liverworts Sphagnum papillosum
Mosses & Liverworts Sphagnum compactum

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
Erica tetralix Flowering Plants
Calluna vulgaris Flowering Plants
Sphagnum papillosum Mosses & Liverworts
Sphagnum compactum Mosses & Liverworts

Other classifications

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