Alpine and subalpine ericoid heath

Description (English)

Dwarf-shrub vegetation dominated by ericoids and other woody species (not juniper or genistoids) occurring in high mountains throughout Europe, varying in dominants and associates according to regional climate, degree of exposure and snow lie, soil reaction, soil depth and moisture.

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code S22
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 Dryas octopetala
Flowering Plants Homogyne alpina

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
Dryas octopetala Flowering Plants
Homogyne alpina Flowering Plants
Flowering Plants Vaccinium myrtillus
Flowering Plants Vaccinium uliginosum
Flowering Plants Avenella flexuosa
Flowering Plants Vaccinium vitis-idaea
Flowering Plants Homogyne alpina
Flowering Plants Dryas octopetala
Flowering Plants Anthoxanthum odoratum
Flowering Plants Calluna vulgaris
Flowering Plants Nardus stricta
Conifers Juniperus communis subsp. nana
Flowering Plants Potentilla erecta
Flowering Plants Festuca rubra
Flowering Plants Carex sempervirens
Flowering Plants Sesleria caerulea
Fungi Cetraria islandica
Flowering Plants Rhododendron ferrugineum
Flowering Plants Potentilla aurea
Flowering Plants Campanula scheuchzeri
Flowering Plants Lotus corniculatus

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
Vaccinium myrtillus Flowering Plants
Vaccinium uliginosum Flowering Plants
Avenella flexuosa Flowering Plants
Vaccinium vitis-idaea Flowering Plants
Homogyne alpina Flowering Plants
Dryas octopetala Flowering Plants
Anthoxanthum odoratum Flowering Plants
Calluna vulgaris Flowering Plants
Nardus stricta Flowering Plants
Juniperus communis subsp. nana Conifers
Potentilla erecta Flowering Plants
Festuca rubra Flowering Plants
Carex sempervirens Flowering Plants
Sesleria caerulea Flowering Plants
Cetraria islandica Fungi
Rhododendron ferrugineum Flowering Plants
Potentilla aurea Flowering Plants
Campanula scheuchzeri Flowering Plants
Lotus corniculatus Flowering Plants
Flowering Plants Vaccinium myrtillus
Flowering Plants Dryas octopetala
Flowering Plants Vaccinium uliginosum
Flowering Plants Calluna vulgaris
Flowering Plants Rhododendron ferrugineum
Flowering Plants Loiseleuria procumbens
Flowering Plants Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

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
Vaccinium myrtillus Flowering Plants
Dryas octopetala Flowering Plants
Vaccinium uliginosum Flowering Plants
Calluna vulgaris Flowering Plants
Rhododendron ferrugineum Flowering Plants
Loiseleuria procumbens Flowering Plants
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi Flowering Plants

Other classifications

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
EUNIS Habitat Classification 2007 (revised descriptions 2012) F2.2 Evergreen alpine and subalpine heath and scrub narrower
European Red List of Habitats F2.2a Alpine and subalpine ericoid heath same
For relation to plant communities (syntaxa), see Vegetation types

History

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type Comment
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200410 F2.2 Evergreen alpine and subalpine heath and scrub same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200308 F2.2 Evergreen alpine and subalpine heath and scrub same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 F2.2 Evergreen alpine and subalpine heath and scrub same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199910 F2.2 Evergreen alpine and subalpine heath and scrub same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199811 F3.2 Alpine, subalpine and boreal heaths and dwarf-shrub mats same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199712 F3.2 Alpine and boreal heaths and dwarf-shrub mats same
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 199905 31.4 Alpine and boreal heaths same
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 1997 31.4 Alpine and boreal heaths same
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 1996 31.4   same
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 1993 31.4   same
CORINE Biotopes Classification 1991 31.4   same
CORINE Biotopes Classification 1989 31.4   same
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