Red List habitat classification > RLD - Mires and bogs > RLD1.2 Blanket bog

Blanket bog

Quick facts

Red List habitat type code RLD1.2
Threat status
Europe Near Threatened
EU Near Threatened
Relation to
Source European Red List habitat factsheet
European Red List of habitats reports
European Red List of habitats (Excel table)

Summary

This habitat comprises the rain-fed (ombrotrophic) main surfaces of blanket bog complexes (EUNIS-type X28) typical of thick peat, more than 1m deep and commonly 2-4m, on flat, gently sloping or undulating terrain in an Atlantic to Subatlantic climate where there is high and quite consistent precipitation (minimum of 1200 mm and 160 days of rain). It is most extensive in the Inited Kingdom, Ireland, the British Isles and along the west-coast of Norway. Blanket bogs are predominantly treeless and the mire surface usually has less distinct surface patterning than D1.1 Raised bogs. However, irregular alternation of small pools, hollows and hummocks with distinct species assemblages can occur and blanket bogs can bear some resemblance to raised bogs especially on flat terrain. The peat-building element of the habitat is Eriophorum vaginatum and Sphagna with Sphagnum capillifolium, S. magellanicum and S. fuscum typical and often forming extensive carpets over undulating terrain. Calluna vulgaris, Vaccinium myrtillus, V. vitis-idaea, Empetrum nigrum and Erica tetralix provide a sub-shrub element on drier hummocks with large hypnoid mosses and Racomitrium lanuginosum.  In flat areas, wet surface types become more characteristic with abundance of S. papillosum, S. tenellum, S. compactum, S. magellanicum, S. rubellum and S. imbricatum, accompanied by Narthecium ossifragum, Trichophorum cespitosum and Eriophorum angustifolium. Low-altitude Atlantic blanket bogs are characterized by abundance of Molinia caerulea, Trichophorum cespitosum and, in the extreme west where there is a strongly oceanic climate, even Schoenus nigricans

Indicators of quality:

  • upper layers of peat kept permanenlt wet by rain
  • Sphagnum carpet extensive
  • absence of artificial ditches or gullies or signs of burning
  • no indications of erosion or drying
  • absence of trees
  • absence of alien species like Rhododendron

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

Threat status

Synthesis of Red List assessment

This habitat is assessed as Near Threatened (NT) because of a strong decline in quality over the last 50 years (criterion C/D1), though the provided quantitative data was limited. This trend is combined with a relatively small average decline in area.
EU
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Near Threatened C/D1
Europe
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Near Threatened C/D1

Confidence in the assessment

low
Red List of habitat categories and criteria descriptions

Pressures and threats

  • Agriculture
    • Intensive grazing
    • Non intensive grazing
  • Mining, extraction of materials and energy production
    • Peat extraction
  • Pollution
    • Nitrogen-input
  • Natural System modifications
    • Burning down
    • Modification of hydrographic functioning, general

Habitat restoration potential

Substantial damage to hydrographic functioning and through peat removal make restoration very difficult and slow and continuing deposition of atmosphere nitrogen, and uncontrolled grazing and burning can undermine recovery.

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

Control of peat removal, of drainage for water abstraction and tree-planting, of grazing, and good management for grouse-rearing are essential for conservation of this habitat.

List of conservation and management needs

  • Measures related to agriculture and open habitats
    • Maintaining grasslands and other open habitats
  • Measures related to wetland, freshwater and coastal habitats
    • Restoring/Improving the hydrological regime
  • Measures related to hunting, taking and fishing and species management
    • Specific single species or species group management measures

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)
Ireland Present 2305 Decreasing Decreasing
Portugal Azores Present 0.6 Decreasing Decreasing
France mainland Present 0.05 Stable Stable
United Kingdom Present 21967 Decreasing Decreasing
Northern Island Present 21967 Decreasing Decreasing
Spain mainland Present 196 Decreasing Decreasing
EU28 + Present or presence uncertain Current area of habitat (Km2) Recent trend in quantity (last 50 years) Recent trend in quality (last 50 years)
Norway Mainland Present 450 Unknown Unknown

Extent of Occurrence, Area of Occupancy and habitat area

Extent of Occurrence (EOO) (Km2) Area of Occupancy (AOO) Current estimated Total Area Comment
EU28 675500 962 24469
EU28+ 987 24919
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.
Birds Calidris alpina
Birds Circus cyaneus
Birds Falco columbarius
Birds Pluvialis apricaria
Ferns Huperzia selago
Flowering Plants Calluna vulgaris
Flowering Plants Carex limosa
Flowering Plants Carex panicea
Flowering Plants Deschampsia flexuosa
Flowering Plants Drosera rotundifolia
Flowering Plants Empetrum nigrum
Flowering Plants Erica tetralix
Flowering Plants Eriophorum angustifolium
Flowering Plants Eriophorum vaginatum
Flowering Plants Juncus bulbosus
Flowering Plants Molinia caerulea
Flowering Plants Myrica gale
Flowering Plants Narthecium ossifragum
Flowering Plants Pedicularis sylvatica
Flowering Plants Pinguicula lusitanica
Flowering Plants Polygala serpyllifolia
Flowering Plants Potentilla erecta
Flowering Plants Rhynchospora alba
Flowering Plants Rubus chamaemorus
Flowering Plants Schoenus nigricans
Flowering Plants Trichophorum cespitosum
Flowering Plants Utricularia intermedia
Flowering Plants Utricularia minor
Flowering Plants Vaccinium myrtillus
Flowering Plants Vaccinium uliginosum
Mosses & Liverworts Aulacomnium palustre
Mosses & Liverworts Campylopus atrovirens
Mosses & Liverworts Drepanocladus fluitans
Mosses & Liverworts Leucobryum glaucum
Mosses & Liverworts Plagiothecium undulatum
Mosses & Liverworts Pleurozium schreberi
Mosses & Liverworts Racomitrium lanuginosum
Mosses & Liverworts Rhytidiadelphus loreus
Mosses & Liverworts Sphagnum capillifolium
Mosses & Liverworts Sphagnum papillosum
Mosses & Liverworts Warnstorfia fluitans
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Calidris alpina Dunlin Birds
Circus cyaneus Hen Harrier Birds
Falco columbarius Merlin Birds
Pluvialis apricaria Golden Plover Birds
Huperzia selago Ferns
Calluna vulgaris Flowering Plants
Carex limosa Flowering Plants
Carex panicea Flowering Plants
Deschampsia flexuosa Flowering Plants
Drosera rotundifolia Flowering Plants
Empetrum nigrum Flowering Plants
Erica tetralix Flowering Plants
Eriophorum angustifolium Flowering Plants
Eriophorum vaginatum Flowering Plants
Juncus bulbosus Flowering Plants
Molinia caerulea Flowering Plants
Myrica gale Flowering Plants
Narthecium ossifragum Flowering Plants
Pedicularis sylvatica Flowering Plants
Pinguicula lusitanica Flowering Plants
Polygala serpyllifolia Flowering Plants
Potentilla erecta Flowering Plants
Rhynchospora alba Flowering Plants
Rubus chamaemorus Flowering Plants
Schoenus nigricans Flowering Plants
Trichophorum cespitosum Flowering Plants
Utricularia intermedia Flowering Plants
Utricularia minor Flowering Plants
Vaccinium myrtillus Flowering Plants
Vaccinium uliginosum Flowering Plants
Aulacomnium palustre Mosses & Liverworts
Campylopus atrovirens Mosses & Liverworts
Drepanocladus fluitans Mosses & Liverworts
Leucobryum glaucum Mosses & Liverworts
Plagiothecium undulatum Mosses & Liverworts
Pleurozium schreberi Mosses & Liverworts
Racomitrium lanuginosum Mosses & Liverworts
Rhytidiadelphus loreus Mosses & Liverworts
Sphagnum capillifolium Mosses & Liverworts
Sphagnum papillosum Mosses & Liverworts
Warnstorfia fluitans 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 D1.2 Blanket bogs same
European Environment Agency (EEA)
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