Dry heath

Description (English)

Heath dominated by various ericaceous sub-shrubs on free-draining, nutrient-poor, acid sands and siliceous soils through the lowlands and foothills of western and central Europe, extending northwards in more oceanic situations and into continental regions at higher rainier altitudes. Very often influenced by grazing and burning and frequently a secondary vegetation type derived by clearance of acidophilous forest and maintained anthropogenically, in many cases for centuries.

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code S4-2
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 Calluna vulgaris
Flowering Plants Erica cinerea
Flowering Plants Ulex gallii
Flowering Plants Genista anglica
Mosses & Liverworts Hypnum jutlandicum

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
Calluna vulgaris Flowering Plants
Erica cinerea Flowering Plants
Ulex gallii Flowering Plants
Genista anglica Flowering Plants
Hypnum jutlandicum Mosses & Liverworts
Flowering Plants Calluna vulgaris
Flowering Plants Deschampsia flexuosa
Flowering Plants Potentilla erecta
Flowering Plants Erica cinerea
Flowering Plants Vaccinium myrtillus
Mosses & Liverworts Dicranum scoparium
Mosses & Liverworts Pleurozium schreberi
Flowering Plants Festuca ovina
Flowering Plants Agrostis capillaris
Ferns Pteridium aquilinum
Mosses & Liverworts Hypnum cupressiforme
Flowering Plants Danthonia decumbens
Mosses & Liverworts Hypnum jutlandicum
Flowering Plants Nardus stricta
Flowering Plants Genista pilosa
Flowering Plants Carex pilulifera
Flowering Plants Vaccinium vitis-idaea
Flowering Plants Anthoxanthum odoratum
Flowering Plants Galium saxatile

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
Calluna vulgaris Flowering Plants
Deschampsia flexuosa Flowering Plants
Potentilla erecta Flowering Plants
Erica cinerea Flowering Plants
Vaccinium myrtillus Flowering Plants
Dicranum scoparium Mosses & Liverworts
Pleurozium schreberi Mosses & Liverworts
Festuca ovina Flowering Plants
Agrostis capillaris Flowering Plants
Pteridium aquilinum Ferns
Hypnum cupressiforme Mosses & Liverworts
Danthonia decumbens Flowering Plants
Hypnum jutlandicum Mosses & Liverworts
Nardus stricta Flowering Plants
Genista pilosa Flowering Plants
Carex pilulifera Flowering Plants
Vaccinium vitis-idaea Flowering Plants
Anthoxanthum odoratum Flowering Plants
Galium saxatile Flowering Plants
Flowering Plants Calluna vulgaris
Flowering Plants Vaccinium myrtillus
Flowering Plants Erica cinerea
Mosses & Liverworts Pleurozium schreberi
Flowering Plants Ulex gallii
Mosses & Liverworts Hypnum jutlandicum

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
Calluna vulgaris Flowering Plants
Vaccinium myrtillus Flowering Plants
Erica cinerea Flowering Plants
Pleurozium schreberi Mosses & Liverworts
Ulex gallii Flowering Plants
Hypnum jutlandicum Mosses & Liverworts

Other classifications

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