Nordic alvar and precambrian calcareous flatrocks

Description (English)

Nordic alvar and Precambrian calcareous flatrocks are very species-rich ecosystems, with an ecological character strongly influenced by winter climatic conditions. When a thin soil layer exists, it is often frozen to ice and covered with snow. Plants and animals have special adaptations to these conditions. For example the invertebrates must have strategies for overwintering. Annual freezing and thawing give rise to movements at the soil surface creating small patches of bare soil occupied by annual plants, a number of which are rare. The flat rocks may be covered with a thin layer of soil, which is the product of weathering of the underlying rock. The flora and fauna is very rich on species and many of them are rare. On Öland the Nordic alvar represents a subtype with dominating Helianthemum oelandicum and other endemic species. The ground is covered with a 5-30 cm deep crumbling soil. The inclination is near zero and the draining process is extremely slow. Freeze-thaw action creates soil polygons with a characteristic patterning of vegetation. In Nordic alvar there are also depressions, which sometimes are filled with water. In summertime those wetlands, on Öland and Gotland called “vätar” , will dry up - completely or partially. Nordic alvar is a habitat type of cambro-siluric or precambrian calcareous rocks.

Source: Interpretation Manual of European Union Habitats, version EUR 28 (2013)

Quick facts

EU Habitats Directive Annex I habitat type (code 6280)
EU conservation status by biogeographical region Boreal - Unfavourable-Bad
Continental - Favourable
Habitat type Priority
Natura 2000 sites 192 are designated for this habitat type

Distribution

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Conservation status

EU conservation status

Conservation status assesses every six years and for each biogeographical region the condition of habitats and species compared to the favourable status as described in the Habitats Directive. The map shows the 2007-2012 assessments as reported by EU Member State. Assessments are further detailed in the summary document available behind the link below.

Favourable: A habitat is in a situation where it is prospering and with good prospects to do so in the future as well
Unfavourable-Inadequate: A habitat is in a situation where a change in management or policy is required to return the habitat to favourable status but there is no danger of disappearance in the foreseeable future
Unfavourable-Bad: A habitat is in serious danger of disappearing (at least regionally)
Unknown: The information available for the habitat type is scarce and does not allow a proper assessment of its conservation status

Species mentioned in habitat description

Flowering Plants Androsace septentrionalis
Flowering Plants Arenaria gothica
Flowering Plants Artemisia oelandica
Flowering Plants Asperula tinctoria
Mosses & Liverworts Ditrichum flexicaule
Flowering Plants Festuca ovina
Flowering Plants Fumana procumbens
Flowering Plants Galium oelandicum
Flowering Plants Gentianella amarella
Flowering Plants Geranium columbinum
Flowering Plants Helianthemum oelandicum
Flowering Plants Hornungia petraea
Flowering Plants Inula ensifolia
Flowering Plants Linum catharticum
Flowering Plants Melica ciliata
Flowering Plants Potentilla tabernaemontani
Flowering Plants Pulsatilla patens
Flowering Plants Saxifraga adscendens
Mosses & Liverworts Schistidium apocarpum
Flowering Plants Sedum acre
Mosses & Liverworts Tortella tortuosa
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Androsace septentrionalis Flowering Plants
Arenaria gothica Flowering Plants
Artemisia oelandica Flowering Plants
Asperula tinctoria Flowering Plants
Ditrichum flexicaule Mosses & Liverworts
Festuca ovina Flowering Plants
Fumana procumbens Flowering Plants
Galium oelandicum Flowering Plants
Gentianella amarella Flowering Plants
Geranium columbinum Flowering Plants
Helianthemum oelandicum Flowering Plants
Hornungia petraea Flowering Plants
Inula ensifolia Flowering Plants
Linum catharticum Flowering Plants
Melica ciliata Flowering Plants
Potentilla tabernaemontani Flowering Plants
Pulsatilla patens Flowering Plants
Saxifraga adscendens Flowering Plants
Schistidium apocarpum Mosses & Liverworts
Sedum acre Flowering Plants
Tortella tortuosa Mosses & Liverworts

Natura 2000 sites

Protected in the following Natura 2000 sites

Sitecode Country Site name Action
EE0010102 Estonia Paraspõllu Map
EE0010114 Estonia Kostivere Map
EE0010123 Estonia Türisalu Map
EE0010125 Estonia Vääna Map
EE0010129 Estonia Pakri Map
EE0010173 Estonia Lahemaa Map
EE0010175 Estonia Vääna-Posti Map
EE0010177 Estonia Kaberla Map
EE0020312 Estonia Linnuraba Map
EE0020313 Estonia Jalase Map
EE0020314 Estonia Salavalge-Tõrasoo Map
EE0020316 Estonia Rabivere Map
EE0020338 Estonia Avaste Map
EE0040002 Estonia Väinamere Map
EE0040112 Estonia Paope Map
EE0040114 Estonia Tilga Map
EE0040121 Estonia Paope loo Map
EE0040122 Estonia Kõrgessaare-Mudaste Map
EE0040127 Estonia Pühalepa Map
EE0040128 Estonia Kukka-Luhastu Map
EE0040135 Estonia Kõpu Map
EE0040201 Estonia Nõva-Osmussaare Map
EE0040205 Estonia Kuke-Kiili Map
EE0040206 Estonia Poanse Map
EE0040214 Estonia Tuhu Map
EE0040312 Estonia Kastna Map
EE0040313 Estonia Kihnu Map
EE0040324 Estonia Lavassaare Map
EE0040332 Estonia Naissoo Map
EE0040349 Estonia Raespa Map
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EE0040356 Estonia Sõmeri Map
EE0040401 Estonia Abruka Map
EE0040403 Estonia Asva Map
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Protected sites

Please note the site map takes a while to display.

Relation to habitat classifications

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200711 E1.2 Perennial calcareous grassland and basic steppes narrower
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200711 E1.25 Alvar steppes overlap
Nordic Vegetation Classification 1994 5.2.1.3c Avenula pratensis-Artemisia oelandica -variant overlap
Nordic Vegetation Classification 1994 5.1.5.1 Sedum album-Tortella spp. -type overlap
Nordic Vegetation Classification 1994 5.1.5.2 Festuca ovina-Tortella spp. -type overlap
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