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 in precipitation-rich areas at higher altitudes. Very often influenced by grazing and burning and frequently a secondary vegetation type derived by clearance of acidophilous forest and maintained anthropogenically.

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code S42
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

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
Flowering Plants Calluna vulgaris
Flowering Plants Avenella flexuosa
Flowering Plants Vaccinium myrtillus
Mosses & Liverworts Pleurozium schreberi
Mosses & Liverworts Hypnum cupressiforme
Flowering Plants Potentilla erecta
Flowering Plants Agrostis capillaris
Mosses & Liverworts Dicranum scoparium
Flowering Plants Festuca ovina
Flowering Plants Nardus stricta
Flowering Plants Genista pilosa
Flowering Plants Danthonia decumbens
Flowering Plants Vaccinium vitis-idaea
Conifers Pinus sylvestris
Flowering Plants Pilosella officinarum
Flowering Plants Luzula campestris
Flowering Plants Carex pilulifera
Flowering Plants Anthoxanthum odoratum
Ferns Pteridium aquilinum
Flowering Plants Festuca rubra

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
Avenella flexuosa Flowering Plants
Vaccinium myrtillus Flowering Plants
Pleurozium schreberi Mosses & Liverworts
Hypnum cupressiforme Mosses & Liverworts
Potentilla erecta Flowering Plants
Agrostis capillaris Flowering Plants
Dicranum scoparium Mosses & Liverworts
Festuca ovina Flowering Plants
Nardus stricta Flowering Plants
Genista pilosa Flowering Plants
Danthonia decumbens Flowering Plants
Vaccinium vitis-idaea Flowering Plants
Pinus sylvestris Conifers
Pilosella officinarum Flowering Plants
Luzula campestris Flowering Plants
Carex pilulifera Flowering Plants
Anthoxanthum odoratum Flowering Plants
Pteridium aquilinum Ferns
Festuca rubra Flowering Plants
Flowering Plants Calluna vulgaris
Flowering Plants Vaccinium myrtillus
Mosses & Liverworts Pleurozium schreberi
Mosses & Liverworts Hypnum cupressiforme
Flowering Plants Genista pilosa
Flowering Plants Erica vagans

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
Pleurozium schreberi Mosses & Liverworts
Hypnum cupressiforme Mosses & Liverworts
Genista pilosa Flowering Plants
Erica vagans Flowering Plants

Other classifications

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
EUNIS Habitat Classification 2007 (revised descriptions 2012) F4.2 Dry heaths same
European Red List of Habitats F4.2 Dry heath same
For relation to plant communities (syntaxa), see Vegetation types
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