Red List habitat classification > RLD - Mires and bogs > RLD2.2c Intermediate fen and soft-water spring mire

Intermediate fen and soft-water spring mire

Quick facts

Red List habitat type code RLD2.2c
Threat status
Europe Near Threatened
EU Vulnerable
Relation to
Source European Red List habitat factsheet
European Red List of habitats reports
European Red List of habitats (Excel table)

Summary

These are weakly acidic (pH 5-6) minerotrophic mires with a plant species composition intermediate between D2.2a Poor fens and D4.1a Short-sedge rich fens and calcareous spring fens. Intermediate fens occur on sodden peats fed from upper catchments by diffuse seepage of non-calcareous ground water discharged via springs with an influence typically confined to soaks or small brooks.  They have unidirectional slope and lateral water flow but the kind of hummock-string patterning typical to D3.2 Aapa mires is missing or very limited. Intermediate fen vegetation can represent the general character of the main mire surfaces or be confined to more or less distinct patterns.  True rich fen indicator species (e.g. Campylium stellatum, Philonotis calcarea, Scorpidium cossoni, Tomentypnum nitens) are missing or very scarce, one distinction from calcareous types. Since the transition between poor and rich fen characters differs across the extensive range through temperate Europe, variations in species composition in different regions can be seen.

Intermediate fens are characterized by abundance of mainly short-sedges like Carex canescens, C. echinata, C. nigra, C. panicea, Eriophorum scheuchzeri, Trichophorum alpinum, while also poor fen species like T. cespitosum and C. lasiocarpa are found. Other vascular plants include Cardamine pratensis, Dactylorhiza maculata, Molinia caerulea, Parnassia palustris, Potentilla erecta, Selaginella selaginoides, Tofieldia pusilla and Viola palustris. Common mire species like Andromeda polifolia, Eriophorum vaginatum and Vaccinium oxycoccos are also abundant. The ground layer may have Sphagnum contortum, S. subfulvum, S. subnitens, S. subsecundum, S. obtusum, S. teres or S. warnstorfii, also poor fen Sphagnum species can be found, and species composition varies between regions. Characteristically, brown mosses are abundant, but calciphilous species are absent.

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

Threat status

Synthesis of Red List assessment

The habitat type is assessed as Vulnerable (VU) in EU28 and Near Threatened in EU28+ based on declines in area over the last 50 years (criterion A1). In the case of EU28+, the assessment is corrected for a considered and likely underestimation of the calculated 28% decline of area during past 50 years. The criterion C/D1 indicated Near Threatened (NT) but it is also quite close to the Vulnerable threshold. The data provide quite good cover over Europe but many entries lacked details. The Swedish data were especially influencial and these were combined with literature sources, since this habitat is not separated in Swedish national inventories.
EU
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Vulnerable A1
Europe
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Near Threatened A1

Confidence in the assessment

low
Red List of habitat categories and criteria descriptions

Pressures and threats

  • Agriculture
    • Intensive grazing
    • Abandonment of pastoral systems, lack of grazing
    • Fertilisation
  • Sylviculture, forestry
    • Forestry activities not referred to above
  • Mining, extraction of materials and energy production
    • Peat extraction
  • Transportation and service corridors
    • Roads, paths and railroads
  • Urbanisation, residential and commercial development
    • Urbanised areas, human habitation
  • Human intrusions and disturbances
    • Outdoor sports and leisure activities, recreational activities
    • Skiing, off-piste
  • Pollution
    • Pollution to groundwater (point sources and diffuse sources)
    • Air pollution, air-borne pollutants
    • Nitrogen-input
  • Natural System modifications
    • Human induced changes in hydraulic conditions
    • Canalisation & water deviation
    • Modification of hydrographic functioning, general
    • Water abstractions from groundwater
    • Other human induced changes in hydraulic conditions
  • Natural biotic and abiotic processes (without catastrophes)
    • Abiotic (slow) natural processes
    • Biocenotic evolution, succession

Habitat restoration potential

When severely damaged in terms of hydrological disturbance, restoration by blocking and damming ditches can be effective in habitat recovery. Problems may arise if the hydrological connection to ground water supply from the catchment is not regained or if nutrient mineralisation causes eutrophication. If loss of key species like characteristic mosses has taken place, reintroduction by transplantatiing should be considered, as well as active measures to suppress overgrowing by unwanted plant cover.

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

Establishing protected areas and restoration by improving hydrological regime of disturbed sites are the main approaches.

List of conservation and management needs

  • Measures related to forests and wooded habitats
    • Other forestry-related measures
  • Measures related to wetland, freshwater and coastal habitats
    • Other wetland related measures
    • Restoring/Improving water quality
    • Restoring/Improving the hydrological regime
    • Managing water abstraction
  • Measures related to spatial planning
    • Establish protected areas/sites
    • Legal protection of habitats and species

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)
Austria Present 21 Decreasing Decreasing
Belgium Present unknown Decreasing Decreasing
Bulgaria Present 0.9 Decreasing Decreasing
Czech Republic Present 12 Decreasing Decreasing
Denmark Present unknown Unknown Unknown
Estonia Present 80-100 Decreasing Decreasing
Finland mainland Present 1670 Decreasing Decreasing
Aland Islands Uncertain 1670 Decreasing Decreasing
France mainland Present 55-150 Decreasing Decreasing
Germany Present <100 Decreasing Decreasing
Ireland Present unknown Unknown Decreasing
Italy mainland Present 36-62 Decreasing Decreasing
Latvia Present unknown Decreasing Decreasing
Lithuania Present 40-45 Decreasing Decreasing
Netherlands Present 4 Decreasing Decreasing
Poland Present 0.2 Decreasing Decreasing
Portugal mainland Present 0.7 Decreasing Decreasing
Portugal Azores Uncertain 0.7 Decreasing Decreasing
Slovakia Present 1 Decreasing Decreasing
Slovenia Present 2.6 Stable Stable
Spain mainland Present unknown Unknown Unknown
Sweden Present 4800 Decreasing Decreasing
United Kingdom Present Unknown Unknown Unknown
EU28 + Present or presence uncertain Current area of habitat (Km2) Recent trend in quantity (last 50 years) Recent trend in quality (last 50 years)
Bosnia and Herzegovina Present 1.3 Decreasing Decreasing
Iceland Uncertain - -
Norway Mainland Present 4500 Decreasing Decreasing
Switzerland Present 65 Decreasing Decreasing

Extent of Occurrence, Area of Occupancy and habitat area

Extent of Occurrence (EOO) (Km2) Area of Occupancy (AOO) Current estimated Total Area Comment
EU28 10053250 14480 AOO and EOO incl. potential distribution
EU28+ 14518 AOO and EOO incl. potential distribution
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 Pinus sylvestris
Ferns Equisetum palustre
Ferns Huperzia selago
Ferns Selaginella selaginoides
Flowering Plants Allium sibiricum
Flowering Plants Andromeda polifolia
Flowering Plants Betula nana
Flowering Plants Betula pubescens
Flowering Plants Calamagrostis stricta
Flowering Plants Calluna vulgaris
Flowering Plants Cardamine amara
Flowering Plants Cardamine pratensis
Flowering Plants Carex canescens
Flowering Plants Crepis paludosa
Flowering Plants Dactylorhiza incarnata
Flowering Plants Dactylorhiza maculata
Flowering Plants Drosera rotundifolia
Flowering Plants Empetrum nigrum
Flowering Plants Epilobium alsinifolium
Flowering Plants Eriophorum angustifolium
Flowering Plants Eriophorum scheuchzeri
Flowering Plants Eriophorum vaginatum
Flowering Plants Hammarbya paludosa
Flowering Plants Juncus filiformis
Flowering Plants Molinia caerulea
Flowering Plants Montia fontana
Flowering Plants Parnassia palustris
Flowering Plants Pedicularis palustris
Flowering Plants Potentilla erecta
Flowering Plants Rhamnus frangula
Flowering Plants Rhynchospora fusca
Flowering Plants Salix herbacea
Flowering Plants Tofieldia pusilla
Flowering Plants Trichophorum alpinum
Flowering Plants Vaccinium oxycoccos
Flowering Plants Viola palustris
Mosses & Liverworts Aulacomnium palustre
Mosses & Liverworts Brachythecium rivulare
Mosses & Liverworts Bryum pseudotriquetrum
Mosses & Liverworts Bryum weigelii
Mosses & Liverworts Calliergon cordifolium
Mosses & Liverworts Calliergon giganteum
Mosses & Liverworts Calliergonella cuspidata
Mosses & Liverworts Campylium stellatum
Mosses & Liverworts Hamatocaulis vernicosus
Mosses & Liverworts Helodium blandowii
Mosses & Liverworts Hypnum pratense
Mosses & Liverworts Loeskypnum badium
Mosses & Liverworts Paludella squarrosa
Mosses & Liverworts Philonotis calcarea
Mosses & Liverworts Philonotis fontana
Mosses & Liverworts Plagiomnium medium
Mosses & Liverworts Polytrichum strictum
Mosses & Liverworts Rhizomnium magnifolium
Mosses & Liverworts Scorpidium cossoni
Mosses & Liverworts Scorpidium revolvens
Mosses & Liverworts Sphagnum aongstroemii
Mosses & Liverworts Sphagnum contortum
Mosses & Liverworts Sphagnum fuscum
Mosses & Liverworts Straminergon stramineum
Mosses & Liverworts Tomentypnum nitens
Mosses & Liverworts Warnstorfia exannulata
Mosses & Liverworts Warnstorfia fluitans
Mosses & Liverworts Warnstorfia sarmentosa
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Pinus sylvestris Conifers
Equisetum palustre Ferns
Huperzia selago Ferns
Selaginella selaginoides Ferns
Allium sibiricum Flowering Plants
Andromeda polifolia Flowering Plants
Betula nana Flowering Plants
Betula pubescens Flowering Plants
Calamagrostis stricta Flowering Plants
Calluna vulgaris Flowering Plants
Cardamine amara Flowering Plants
Cardamine pratensis Flowering Plants
Carex canescens Flowering Plants
Crepis paludosa Flowering Plants
Dactylorhiza incarnata Flowering Plants
Dactylorhiza maculata Flowering Plants
Drosera rotundifolia Flowering Plants
Empetrum nigrum Flowering Plants
Epilobium alsinifolium Flowering Plants
Eriophorum angustifolium Flowering Plants
Eriophorum scheuchzeri Flowering Plants
Eriophorum vaginatum Flowering Plants
Hammarbya paludosa Flowering Plants
Juncus filiformis Flowering Plants
Molinia caerulea Flowering Plants
Montia fontana Flowering Plants
Parnassia palustris Flowering Plants
Pedicularis palustris Flowering Plants
Potentilla erecta Flowering Plants
Rhamnus frangula Flowering Plants
Rhynchospora fusca Flowering Plants
Salix herbacea Flowering Plants
Tofieldia pusilla Flowering Plants
Trichophorum alpinum Flowering Plants
Vaccinium oxycoccos Flowering Plants
Viola palustris Flowering Plants
Aulacomnium palustre Mosses & Liverworts
Brachythecium rivulare Mosses & Liverworts
Bryum pseudotriquetrum Mosses & Liverworts
Bryum weigelii Mosses & Liverworts
Calliergon cordifolium Mosses & Liverworts
Calliergon giganteum Mosses & Liverworts
Calliergonella cuspidata Mosses & Liverworts
Campylium stellatum Mosses & Liverworts
Hamatocaulis vernicosus Mosses & Liverworts
Helodium blandowii Mosses & Liverworts
Hypnum pratense Mosses & Liverworts
Loeskypnum badium Mosses & Liverworts
Paludella squarrosa Mosses & Liverworts
Philonotis calcarea Mosses & Liverworts
Philonotis fontana Mosses & Liverworts
Plagiomnium medium Mosses & Liverworts
Polytrichum strictum Mosses & Liverworts
Rhizomnium magnifolium Mosses & Liverworts
Scorpidium cossoni Mosses & Liverworts
Scorpidium revolvens Mosses & Liverworts
Sphagnum aongstroemii Mosses & Liverworts
Sphagnum contortum Mosses & Liverworts
Sphagnum fuscum Mosses & Liverworts
Straminergon stramineum Mosses & Liverworts
Tomentypnum nitens Mosses & Liverworts
Warnstorfia exannulata Mosses & Liverworts
Warnstorfia fluitans Mosses & Liverworts
Warnstorfia sarmentosa 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 D2.2 Poor fens and soft-water spring mires narrower
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