Red List habitat classification > RLE - Grasslands > RLE2.4 Iberian summer pasture (vallicar)

Iberian summer pasture (vallicar)

Quick facts

Red List habitat type code RLE2.4
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)


This habitat comprises dense medium to tall grasslands growing in the lowlands and at moderate elevations up to 1500m on siliceous rocks with sandy to clayey oligotrophic soils in the Mediterranean and sub-mediterranean western Iberian Peninsula. The drainage conditions are good to poor and there can be temporary flooding with rapid desiccation afterwards. This is largely a semi-natural habitat type, linked to traditional cattle husbandry management.

The grasslands are dense and dominated by tall perennial grasses (vallicos) and annual species such as clovers, which have been traditionally grazed and sometimes mown. Waterlogging in the soil causes dominance of Agrostis pourretii and Agrostis castellana (alliance Agrostion castellanae), while free drainage favours dominance of Festuca elegans subsp. elegans, Festuca elegans subsp. merinoi (alliance Festucion merinoi) or Stipa gigantea (alliance Agrostio-Stipion giganteae), depending on the region and environmental conditions.

Indicators of quality:

  • Dominance of grasses in a dense, carpet-like sward

  • High plant species diversity

  • Few or no open spots due to overgrazing or the use of machinery

  • Absence of shrubs, particularly brooms, indicating initial stages of succession towards shrubland

  • Absence of nitrophilous plants indicating overgrazing and over-fertilizing

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

Threat status

Synthesis of Red List assessment

The habitat is assessed as Near Threatened (NT) based on recent loss in extent (A1). No data on changes in quality are available.
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Near Threatened A1
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Near Threatened A1

Confidence in the assessment

Red List of habitat categories and criteria descriptions

Pressures and threats

  • Agriculture
    • Modification of cultivation practices
    • Crop change
    • Grazing
    • Abandonment of pastoral systems, lack of grazing
  • Urbanisation, residential and commercial development
    • Urbanised areas, human habitation
  • Pollution
    • Air pollution, air-borne pollutants
    • Nitrogen-input

Habitat restoration potential

The recovery capacity of this habitat is diverse depending on the hydrological regime, being more difficult in the moister versions than in the drier ones. In any case, if soil has been damaged, the recovery is almost impossible until the soil is reestablished to some extent. The pastoral regime has to be maintained in any case.

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

No details can be found.

List of conservation and management needs

  • Measures related to agriculture and open habitats
    • Maintaining grasslands and other open habitats


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)
Portugal mainland Present 66 Unknown Decreasing
Spain mainland Present 2739 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)

Extent of Occurrence, Area of Occupancy and habitat area

Extent of Occurrence (EOO) (Km2) Area of Occupancy (AOO) Current estimated Total Area Comment
EU28 346750 1301 2805 98% of this habitat is in Spain
EU28+ 1301 2805
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

Not available

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Other classifications

Not available
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