Red List habitat classification > RLE - Grasslands > RLE1.5c Cyrno-Sardean oromediterranean siliceous dry grassland

Cyrno-Sardean oromediterranean siliceous dry grassland

Quick facts

Red List habitat type code RLE1.5c
Threat status
Europe Endangered
EU Endangered
Relation to
Source European Red List habitat factsheet
European Red List of habitats reports
European Red List of habitats (Excel table)

Summary

High-mountain siliceous grasslands of the oromediterranean belt of Corsica, occurring mainly at altitudes of 1,800-2,100 m, especially in the massifs of Monte Cinto, Monte Rotondo, Monte Renoso and Monte Incudine. These grasslands are dominated by herbs and graminoids, of which Bellardiochloa variegata, Ligusticum corsicum, Plantago sarda, Sagina pilifera and Luzula spicata subsp. italica are most frequent. Species endemic to Corsica are also common, including Armeria multiceps, Paronychia polygonifolia and Trisetum conradiae. In places dwarf shrubs may occur, especially Genista lobelii, and patches of creeping juniper Juniperus communis subsp. alpina. At altitudes between 2,100 and 2,200 m, these grasslands become more open.

This habitat type might be present also in Sardinia, represented by fragments localized on Mt. Gennargentu. The altitude of this mountain (1,834 m a.s.l.) reaches the oromediterranean climatic belt, and its top is characterized by strong winds that, in areas of ridges, exert a strict selection of the plant species in favor of crawling hemicryptophytes and cushion-like chamephytes, pushing the hemicryptophytic vegetation to find protection in between the dwarf shrubs. The most representative species are Festuca morisiana, Armeria sardoa subsp. genargentea, Hieracium soleirolianum and other endemics.

This vegetation occurs on different types of siliceous rocks, which give rise to soils of pH between 5 and 6. These soils are influenced by cryoturbation and gelifluction.

Indicators of good quality:

·       Occurrence of rare species, especially Corsican endemics

·       Absence of nutrient-demanding, tall-growing competitive species

·       No indication of the spread of (dwarf) shrubs

·       Absence of overgrazing

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

Threat status

Synthesis of Red List assessment

The habitat is assessed as Endangered (EN) based on a combination of restricted distribution and negative trends. In Corsica, accounting for more than 80% of the AOO, this habitat type showed during the last 50 year a slight but continuous qualitative decline, due to the abandonment of the traditional pastoral systems. Additionally, the total distribution (AOO = 14 grid cells of 10x10 km2) and extent (EOO = 7700 km2) are very small, so the habitat meets the conditions for the threat level Endangered. Figures about qualitative and quantitative decline of this habitat type are not available and there are no quantitative data about the past area.
EU
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Endangered B1, B2
Europe
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Endangered B1, B2

Confidence in the assessment

medium
Red List of habitat categories and criteria descriptions

Pressures and threats

  • Agriculture
    • Grazing
    • Intensive grazing
    • Abandonment of pastoral systems, lack of grazing
  • Natural System modifications
    • Fire and fire suppression
  • Natural biotic and abiotic processes (without catastrophes)
    • Biocenotic evolution, succession
  • Climate change
    • Changes in abiotic conditions

Habitat restoration potential

Maintaining or re-establishing the traditional pastoral systems, with a low intensity grazing, is necessary to preserve the characteristics of this habitat. Due to the extreme climatic conditions, when severely damaged, its capacity to recover its typical character and functionality is very low and, in case of extreme degradation, it might be very hard, if not impossible.

Trends in extent

Average current trend in quantity

Stable Stable
EU28 EU28+

Trends in quality

Average current trend in quality

Decreasing Decreasing
EU28 EU28+

Conservation and management needs

Maintaining the traditional pastoral systems, with a low intensity grazing, is the most effective way to maintain this habitat type. Due to the rather extreme climatic conditions, the successional processes are not particularly fast, however the lack of grazing should be avoided.

List of conservation and management needs

  • Measures related to agriculture and open habitats
    • Maintaining grasslands and other open habitats
  • Measures related to spatial planning
    • Establish protected areas/sites
    • Legal protection of habitats and species
    • Manage landscape features

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)
Corsica Present Unknown Decreasing Stable
Sardinia Present Unknown Unknown Stable
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 7700 14 <1,400
EU28+ 14 <1,400
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
Flowering Plants Armeria multiceps
Flowering Plants Bellardiochloa variegata
Flowering Plants Cerastium soleirolii
Flowering Plants Festuca morisiana
Flowering Plants Genista lobelii
Flowering Plants Ligusticum corsicum
Flowering Plants Luzula spicata
Flowering Plants Minuartia verna
Flowering Plants Nardus stricta
Flowering Plants Paronychia polygonifolia
Flowering Plants Poa balbisii
Flowering Plants Poa violacea
Flowering Plants Reseda phyteuma
Flowering Plants Robertia taraxacoides
Flowering Plants Sagina pilifera
Flowering Plants Scleranthus burnatii
Flowering Plants Sempervivum arachnoideum
Flowering Plants Sesamoides pygmaea
Flowering Plants Trisetum conradiae
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Juniperus communis Conifers
Armeria multiceps Flowering Plants
Bellardiochloa variegata Flowering Plants
Cerastium soleirolii Flowering Plants
Festuca morisiana Flowering Plants
Genista lobelii Flowering Plants
Ligusticum corsicum Flowering Plants
Luzula spicata Flowering Plants
Minuartia verna Flowering Plants
Nardus stricta Flowering Plants
Paronychia polygonifolia Flowering Plants
Poa balbisii Flowering Plants
Poa violacea Flowering Plants
Reseda phyteuma Flowering Plants
Robertia taraxacoides Flowering Plants
Sagina pilifera Flowering Plants
Scleranthus burnatii Flowering Plants
Sempervivum arachnoideum Flowering Plants
Sesamoides pygmaea Flowering Plants
Trisetum conradiae Flowering Plants

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 E1.5 Mediterranean-montane grassland narrower
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