Red List habitat classification > RLB - Coastal habitats > RLB1.7c Baltic coniferous coastal dune woodland

Baltic coniferous coastal dune woodland

Quick facts

Red List habitat type code RLB1.7c
Threat status
Europe Vulnerable
EU Vulnerable
Relation to
Source European Red List habitat factsheet
European Red List of habitats reports
European Red List of habitats (Excel table)

Summary

Dune woods develop naturally where coastal sands become sufficiently stabilised and remote from the influence of saline ground water or spray to sustain a permanent cover of trees and they bear a strong resemblance to the zonal woodland types of the regional climate. On the Baltic coast of Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Poland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia, where the climate is Boreal to the north and east, Continental to the south-west, dune woods persist locally, though often reduced in quality now by replanting with introduced conifers. Pinus sylvestris is the natural coloniser and dominant and the overall character is similar to G3.4/5a Temperate Continental Pinus sylvestris woodland.

Associated trees and shrubs include Quercus robur to the south, with Betula pendula, Juniperus communis. Often there is a heathy field layer with Vaccinium myrtillus, V. vitis-idaea, Calluna vulgaris, Empetrum nigrum, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, Deschampsia flexuosa and such distinctive boreal plants as Moneses uniflora, Linnaea borealis, Chimaphia umbellata and Pyrola rotundifolia. More locally, on calcareous sands, the flora can be basiphilous and, in more open stands, have a distinctively grassy look with Festuca ovina, Hieracium pilosella, Peucedanum oreoselinum, Phleum phleoides, Thymus serpylllum. On more recently colonised sands, dune species such as Ammophila arenaria, Leymus arenarius and Carex arenaria can persist among the trees. In Poland a variety of the habitat is found in wet depressions, with Ledum palustre dominating the field layer.

Indicators of quality:

  • Presence of mature canopy of Pinus sylvestris with associated woody and herb species.
  • Absence of planted Pinus sylvestris or other commercial conifers with loss of associated native flora.
  • Infrequent burial of trees by storm-blown sands and forest fires.
  • Absence of logging.
  • Absence of human disturbance due to tourism or military activity.

Characteristic species
For full habitat description, please download the habitat factsheet.

Threat status

Synthesis of Red List assessment

The Baltic coniferous costal dune woods are assessed as Vulnerable (VU) due to the large negative trend in quality over the last 50 years (criterion C/D1). More than half of the area has degraded to a rather high degree.
EU
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Vulnerable C/D1
Europe
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Vulnerable C/D1

Confidence in the assessment

medium
Red List of habitat categories and criteria descriptions

Pressures and threats

  • Sylviculture, forestry
    • Forest replanting (non native trees)
    • Forestry clearance
  • Urbanisation, residential and commercial development
    • Continuous urbanisation
  • Human intrusions and disturbances
    • Trampling, overuse
  • Pollution
    • Nitrogen-input
  • Invasive, other problematic species and genes
    • Invasive non-native species

Habitat restoration potential

To restore coniferous costal dune woods takes long time as the forest is extremely slow growing. If the forest is clearcut it will take several hundred years to come back to what it was, and there is no known way to fasten this process. The natural regeneration is by fire and those cycles also take long time periods.

Trends in extent

Average current trend in quantity

Decreasing Decreasing
EU28 EU28+

Trends in quality

Average current trend in quality

Decreasing Decreasing
EU28 EU28+

Conservation and management needs

Many of the sites with the habitat need some management, but it is very different in different areas. It varies from removal of invasive species or planted non-native trees to activate forest fires. In some areas the highest conservation need is legal protection.

List of conservation and management needs

  • Measures related to forests and wooded habitats
    • Restoring/Improving forest habitats
  • Measures related to spatial planning
    • Establish protected areas/sites

Distribution

For each habitat a distribution map was produced from a wide variety of sources indicating known and potential occurrences of the habitat in 10x10 km grids within Europe. Occurrences in grid cells were given in two classes: actual distribution from relatively reliable sources (surveys, expert knowledge), and potential distribution based on models or less reliable indicators. Please download the fact sheet to see the map.

Geographic occurrence and trends

EU28 Present or presence uncertain Current area of habitat (Km2) Recent trend in quantity (last 50 years) Recent trend in quality (last 50 years)
Estonia Present 80 Unknown Stable
Finland mainland Present 40 Decreasing Decreasing
Aland Islands Present 40 Decreasing Decreasing
Germany Present 20 Decreasing Stable
Latvia Present 600 Decreasing Decreasing
Lithuania Present 41 Decreasing Increasing
Poland Present 50 Decreasing Decreasing
Sweden Present 63 Decreasing Increasing
EU28 + Present or presence uncertain Current area of habitat (Km2) Recent trend in quantity (last 50 years) Recent trend in quality (last 50 years)

Extent of Occurrence, Area of Occupancy and habitat area

Extent of Occurrence (EOO) (Km2) Area of Occupancy (AOO) Current estimated Total Area Comment
EU28 789700 435 894
EU28+ 435 894
AOO = the area occupied by a habitat measured in number of 10x10 km grid cells.
EOO = the area (km2) of the envelope around all occurrences of a habitat (calculated by a minimum convex polygon).

Characteristic species

The full list of characteristic species and genus are available above from the Summary. The species available in the EUNIS database are shown here.
Conifers Juniperus communis
Conifers Pinus sylvestris
Flowering Plants Ammophila arenaria
Flowering Plants Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
Flowering Plants Betula pendula
Flowering Plants Calluna vulgaris
Flowering Plants Carex arenaria
Flowering Plants Chimaphila umbellata
Flowering Plants Deschampsia flexuosa
Flowering Plants Empetrum nigrum
Flowering Plants Festuca ovina
Flowering Plants Hieracium pilosella
Flowering Plants Ledum palustre
Flowering Plants Leymus arenarius
Flowering Plants Linnaea borealis
Flowering Plants Melampyrum pratense
Flowering Plants Moneses uniflora
Flowering Plants Peucedanum oreoselinum
Flowering Plants Phleum phleoides
Flowering Plants Pyrola rotundifolia
Flowering Plants Quercus robur
Flowering Plants Vaccinium myrtillus
Mosses & Liverworts Leucobryum glaucum
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Juniperus communis Conifers
Pinus sylvestris Conifers
Ammophila arenaria Flowering Plants
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi Flowering Plants
Betula pendula Flowering Plants
Calluna vulgaris Flowering Plants
Carex arenaria Flowering Plants
Chimaphila umbellata Flowering Plants
Deschampsia flexuosa Flowering Plants
Empetrum nigrum Flowering Plants
Festuca ovina Flowering Plants
Hieracium pilosella Flowering Plants
Ledum palustre Flowering Plants
Leymus arenarius Flowering Plants
Linnaea borealis Flowering Plants
Melampyrum pratense Flowering Plants
Moneses uniflora Flowering Plants
Peucedanum oreoselinum Flowering Plants
Phleum phleoides Flowering Plants
Pyrola rotundifolia Flowering Plants
Quercus robur Flowering Plants
Vaccinium myrtillus Flowering Plants
Leucobryum glaucum Mosses & Liverworts

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Other classifications

This habitat may be equivalent to, or broather than, or narrower than the habitats or ecosystems in the following typologies.
Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200711 B1.7 Coastal dune woods narrower
European Environment Agency (EEA)
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