Snow-bed vegetation

Description (English)

Vegetation on skeletal, sometimes humic, soils developed beneath late-lying snow patches in Arctic and subarctic lowlands, boreal mountains and temperate high mountains of Central and Southern Europe. Dominated by grasses, sedges, herbs and cryptogams, the species composition depends on regional climate, altitude, bedrock and soil type, and sometimes includes endemics, particularly in Southern Europe.

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code R41
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 Veronica alpina
Flowering Plants Gnaphalium supinum
Flowering Plants Salix herbacea
Flowering Plants Sibbaldia procumbens
Flowering Plants Saxifraga androsacea
Flowering Plants Gnaphalium hoppeanum
Flowering Plants Cardamine alpina
Flowering Plants Carex pyrenaica
Flowering Plants Cerastium cerastoides
Flowering Plants Luzula alpinopilosa
Flowering Plants Poa alpina
Flowering Plants Alchemilla pentaphyllea
Flowering Plants Ranunculus alpestris
Flowering Plants Sedum alpestre
Flowering Plants Leucanthemopsis alpina
Flowering Plants Ranunculus crenatus
Flowering Plants Alchemilla fissa

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
Veronica alpina Flowering Plants
Gnaphalium supinum Flowering Plants
Salix herbacea Flowering Plants
Sibbaldia procumbens Flowering Plants
Saxifraga androsacea Flowering Plants
Gnaphalium hoppeanum Flowering Plants
Cardamine alpina Flowering Plants
Carex pyrenaica Flowering Plants
Cerastium cerastoides Flowering Plants
Luzula alpinopilosa Flowering Plants
Poa alpina Flowering Plants
Alchemilla pentaphyllea Flowering Plants
Ranunculus alpestris Flowering Plants
Sedum alpestre Flowering Plants
Leucanthemopsis alpina Flowering Plants
Ranunculus crenatus Flowering Plants
Alchemilla fissa Flowering Plants
Flowering Plants Poa alpina
Flowering Plants Salix herbacea
Flowering Plants Gnaphalium supinum
Flowering Plants Veronica alpina
Flowering Plants Sibbaldia procumbens
Flowering Plants Silene acaulis
Flowering Plants Luzula alpinopilosa
Flowering Plants Leucanthemopsis alpina
Flowering Plants Ranunculus alpestris
Flowering Plants Saxifraga oppositifolia
Flowering Plants Cerastium cerastoides
Flowering Plants Saxifraga stellaris
Flowering Plants Saxifraga androsacea
Flowering Plants Sedum alpestre
Flowering Plants Myosotis alpestris
Flowering Plants Geum montanum
Flowering Plants Ranunculus glacialis
Flowering Plants Arabis alpina

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
Poa alpina Flowering Plants
Salix herbacea Flowering Plants
Gnaphalium supinum Flowering Plants
Veronica alpina Flowering Plants
Sibbaldia procumbens Flowering Plants
Silene acaulis Flowering Plants
Luzula alpinopilosa Flowering Plants
Leucanthemopsis alpina Flowering Plants
Ranunculus alpestris Flowering Plants
Saxifraga oppositifolia Flowering Plants
Cerastium cerastoides Flowering Plants
Saxifraga stellaris Flowering Plants
Saxifraga androsacea Flowering Plants
Sedum alpestre Flowering Plants
Myosotis alpestris Flowering Plants
Geum montanum Flowering Plants
Ranunculus glacialis Flowering Plants
Arabis alpina Flowering Plants

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

Other classifications

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
EUNIS Habitat Classification 2007 (revised descriptions 2012) E4.1 Vegetated snow-patch same
European Red List of Habitats E4.1 Vegetated snow patch same
For relation to plant communities (syntaxa), see Vegetation types

History

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type Comment
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200410 E4.1 Vegetated snow-patch same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200308 E4.1 Snow-patch grassland same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 E4.1 Snow-patch grassland same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199910 E4.1 Snow-patch grassland same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199811 E4.1 Snow-patch grassland same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199712 E4.1 Snow-patch grassland habitats same
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 199905 36.1 Part of Snow-patch communities wider
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 1997 36.1 Part of Snow-patch communities wider
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 1996 36.1   wider
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 1993 36.1   wider
CORINE Biotopes Classification 1991 36.1   wider
CORINE Biotopes Classification 1989 36.1   wider
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