Perennial rocky grassland of Central Europe and the Carpathians
|Red List habitat type||code RLE1.1g|
|Source||European Red List habitat factsheet|
|European Red List of habitats reports|
|European Red List of habitats (Excel table)|
These open to relatively closed perennial grasslands occur on outcrops and steep slopes of mostly calcareous but also siliceous rocks. They are dominated by graminoids such as Bromopsis pannonica, Bromus riparius, Carex humilis, Festuca dalmatica, Festuca pallens and various species of Sesleria and Stipa. Perennial herbs are common, whereas other life forms such as chamaephytes, therophytes and geophytes occur with various abundance, although they are found in most stands. The participation of annuals increases significantly in the southern parts of the habitat’s range because of the stronger Mediterranean influence. From the phytogeographical point of view, these grasslands combine central European species with numerous submediterranean, continental steppic and de-alpine species. Especially on limestone or dolomite these grasslands can be species-rich and contain some species with narrow geographic ranges. Phytosociologically, this habitat type corresponds to the order Stipo pulcherrimae-Festucetalia pallentis (class: Festuco-Brometea).
These grasslands are distributed at low hilly and submontane areas of the Bohemian Massif, Alps, Carpathians, and low mountains and hilly lowlands of the northern and central Balkan Peninsula. Westwards the habitat reaches North-East France and adjacent Belgium, Germany and Switzerland. At many sites these grasslands represent natural vegetation, but in some places they developed as secondary vegetation of deforested areas on shallow soils. Especially on dolomite slopes continuous weathering of the parent rock into gravel particles maintains constant soil erosion which limits encroachment of woody plants and keeps the landscape open. On limestone and dolomite slopes there is often a distinct contrast in vegetation on slopes of different aspect. South-facing slopes harbor more open vegetation, often with less than 50% cover, with dominance of narrow-leaved tussock grasses and aromatic semi-scrubs. In contrast, north-facing slopes support denser grasslands dominated by various species of Sesleria that contain several species typical of higher altitudes of the Alps or the Carpathians which have scattered and in many cases probably relict occurrences at lower altitudes. Soils are various subtypes of Leptosol.
Most of these grasslands occur in naturally treeless areas on steep and naturally eroded slopes that are difficult to access and unsuitable for agriculture. These grasslands are very stable and usually are not directly endangered unless they are destroyed by quarrying. However, secondary grasslands on less steep slopes were traditionally maintained by grazing, especially by goats. When grazing ceases, they are subject to encroachment of shrubs and trees.
Indicators of good quality:
Most valuable stands occur at sites with long historical continuity which contains steno-endemic species and species with isolated occurrences, in many cases probably of relict origin. Indicators of good quality include:
· Occurrence of endemic or rare species, or species at isolated localities far from their continuous range.
· No signs of spread of mesophilous species or development of dense grassland.
· No signs of encroachment of trees and shrubs.
· In secondary grasslands continuation of grazing by goats or sheep.
Synthesis of Red List assessment
|Red List Category||Red List Criteria|
|Red List Category||Red List Criteria|
Confidence in the assessment
Pressures and threats
- Abandonment of pastoral systems, lack of grazing
- Mining, extraction of materials and energy production
- Open cast mining
- Human intrusions and disturbances
- Mountaineering, rock climbing, speleology
- Natural biotic and abiotic processes (without catastrophes)
- Biocenotic evolution, succession
Habitat restoration potential
Trends in extent
Average current trend in quantity
Trends in quality
Average current trend in quality
Conservation and management needs
List of conservation and management needs
- No measures
- No measures needed for the conservation of the habitat/species
- Measures related to agriculture and open habitats
- Maintaining grasslands and other open habitats
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)|
|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||25||Decreasing||Decreasing|
|Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)||Present||840||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||1055500||Not provided yet||848||The estimate for Bulgaria might be too high based on an inconsistent interpretation of the habitat type|
|EU28+||Not provided yet||849||The estimate for Bulgaria and the Republic of Macedonia might be too high based on an inconsistent interpretation of the habitat type|
EOO = the area (km2) of the envelope around all occurrences of a habitat (calculated by a minimum convex polygon).