Red List habitat classification > RLE - Grasslands > RLE3.4b Moist or wet mesotrophic to eutrophic pasture

Moist or wet mesotrophic to eutrophic pasture

Quick facts

Red List habitat type code RLE3.4b
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

Pastures or trampled grasslands on mesotrophic to eutrophic, wet to moist sites in the temperate regions of Europe. Naturally such grasslands occur in floodplains and on shores of lowland lakes, in poorly drained places that are grazed by wild animals or cattle. More anthropogenic they are found along banks of ditches, and in wet grasslands in sites where cattle gathers or that are inundated a long time of the year. The soil may vary from clayey, sandy to peaty and sometimes is brackish. The sites are inundated during winter and spring, but fall dry in summer. The habitat is most common in riverine areas, and may occupy large areas under natural flooding regimes. Embanking of floodplains and regulating of water courses may result in a loss of area of the habitat. On the other hand, intensive grazing of grasslands may result in the species composition of this habitat on the lower and most trampled sites. The species combination consists of plants that endure long periods of inundation (and trampling) very well, like Potentilla anserina, Trifolium fragiferum, Trifolium repens, Plantago major, Agrostis stolonifera, Mentha pulegioides. They develop and flower in the dry periods. Some of them are able to quickly occupy empty sites by stolones or rhizomes. Other plants in the communities are especially resistant to grazing by being unpalatable, like Juncus inflexus and Rumex crispus. Most species of the habitat are common and widespread, but a few rare and more restricted species are characteristic, amongst which Apium repens, Blysmus compressus, Alopecurus bulbosus, Carex vulpina and Teucrium scordium. The habitat has some species in common with pioneer communities of river shores (type C3.5a), with which type transitions and mosaics occur, but in general type E3.4b is a more closed community, really a grassland type. On the higher site it may form mosaics with Cynosurion-pastures (habitat E2.1a) or moist or wet hay meadows (habitat E3.4a). Some other species are in common with tall-herb communities on moist sites, like Mentha longifolia. The habitat occurs widespread throughout the temperate European lowlands. In most of the Mediterranean region it is replaced by communities of habitat E3.2a Mediterranean short moist grassland of lowlands. In the continental parts of Europe the habitat is rare, and restricted to sites with long-term high water levels. Similar communities occur on the brackish, higher parts of Atlantic and Baltic saltmarshes, but in that case they are included under habitat A2.5b or A2.5c. Also inland salt pan communities of the Lolio-Potentillion are excluded, as they are considered under type E6.2 or E6.3.

Indicators of good quality:

• Natural flooding regime

• Long term inundation during winter and spring

• Maintenance of grazing pressure

• Absence of non-native plant species

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

Threat status

Synthesis of Red List assessment

Based on a strong reduction in quantity over the past 50 years, this habitat type is Endangered (EN) in both EU28 and EU28+. A substantial reduction in biotic and abiotic quality results in a status Vulnerable (VU) for EU28 and Near Threatened (NT) for EU28+.
EU
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Endangered A1
Europe
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Endangered A1

Confidence in the assessment

medium
Red List of habitat categories and criteria descriptions

Pressures and threats

  • Agriculture
    • Agricultural intensification
    • Fertilisation
  • Urbanisation, residential and commercial development
    • Urbanised areas, human habitation
  • Natural System modifications
    • Flooding modifications
    • Water abstractions from groundwater

Habitat restoration potential

Depending on the type of damage, different forms of restoration are required. When the sites are overgrown with shrubs and trees, these woods have to be cleared; when grasslands still exist but the typical species are absent, a reduction of the amount of fertilizer is needed. In all cases, grazing regimes must be set up, whereas the hydrological conditions have to be appropriate (waterlogged soils by periodic inundation).

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

Although these pastures are still available over large areas, there are ongoing risks for further degradation. To preserve the still existing grasslands, safeguarding the appropriate hydrological conditions is a prerequisite. To restore degraded grasslands, the pressure from agricultural use (applying of fertilizers) has to be reduced.

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

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 75 Decreasing Decreasing
Belgium Present - -
Bulgaria Present Decreasing Decreasing
Croatia Present 35 - -
Czech Republic Present 9 Decreasing Decreasing
Estonia Present 16 Decreasing Unknown
France mainland Present 2100 Decreasing Decreasing
Germany Present Decreasing Decreasing
Hungary Present 400 Decreasing Decreasing
Ireland Present 12354 Unknown Unknown
Italy mainland Present 143 Decreasing Decreasing
Latvia Present 95 Decreasing Decreasing
Lithuania Present 90 Decreasing Decreasing
Poland Present 8 Decreasing Unknown
Romania Present 200 Decreasing Decreasing
Slovakia Present 10 Decreasing Stable
Spain mainland Present 81 Unknown Stable
United Kingdom Present 30 Decreasing Decreasing
Finland mainland Present 40 - -
Netherlands Present 25 Decreasing 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)
Bosnia and Herzegovina Present 3 Decreasing Decreasing
Switzerland Present 350 Decreasing Stable

Extent of Occurrence, Area of Occupancy and habitat area

Extent of Occurrence (EOO) (Km2) Area of Occupancy (AOO) Current estimated Total Area Comment
EU28 2363550 291 15700
EU28+ 296 16060
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.
Flowering Plants Agrostis stolonifera
Flowering Plants Alopecurus bulbosus
Flowering Plants Alopecurus geniculatus
Flowering Plants Apium repens
Flowering Plants Blysmus compressus
Flowering Plants Cardamine parviflora
Flowering Plants Carex hirta
Flowering Plants Carex otrubae
Flowering Plants Carex vulpina
Flowering Plants Eleocharis uniglumis
Flowering Plants Festuca arundinacea
Flowering Plants Glyceria fluitans
Flowering Plants Gratiola officinalis
Flowering Plants Juncus articulatus
Flowering Plants Juncus compressus
Flowering Plants Juncus effusus
Flowering Plants Juncus inflexus
Flowering Plants Lolium perenne
Flowering Plants Mentha longifolia
Flowering Plants Mentha pulegium
Flowering Plants Mentha suaveolens
Flowering Plants Oenanthe fistulosa
Flowering Plants Plantago major
Flowering Plants Poa trivialis
Flowering Plants Potentilla anserina
Flowering Plants Potentilla reptans
Flowering Plants Pulicaria dysenterica
Flowering Plants Pulicaria vulgaris
Flowering Plants Ranunculus repens
Flowering Plants Ranunculus sardous
Flowering Plants Rorippa sylvestris
Flowering Plants Rumex conglomeratus
Flowering Plants Rumex crispus
Flowering Plants Teucrium scordium
Flowering Plants Trifolium fragiferum
Flowering Plants Trifolium repens
Flowering Plants Triglochin palustris
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Agrostis stolonifera Flowering Plants
Alopecurus bulbosus Flowering Plants
Alopecurus geniculatus Flowering Plants
Apium repens Flowering Plants
Blysmus compressus Flowering Plants
Cardamine parviflora Flowering Plants
Carex hirta Flowering Plants
Carex otrubae Flowering Plants
Carex vulpina Flowering Plants
Eleocharis uniglumis Flowering Plants
Festuca arundinacea Flowering Plants
Glyceria fluitans Flowering Plants
Gratiola officinalis Flowering Plants
Juncus articulatus Flowering Plants
Juncus compressus Flowering Plants
Juncus effusus Flowering Plants
Juncus inflexus Flowering Plants
Lolium perenne Flowering Plants
Mentha longifolia Flowering Plants
Mentha pulegium Flowering Plants
Mentha suaveolens Flowering Plants
Oenanthe fistulosa Flowering Plants
Plantago major Flowering Plants
Poa trivialis Flowering Plants
Potentilla anserina Flowering Plants
Potentilla reptans Flowering Plants
Pulicaria dysenterica Flowering Plants
Pulicaria vulgaris Flowering Plants
Ranunculus repens Flowering Plants
Ranunculus sardous Flowering Plants
Rorippa sylvestris Flowering Plants
Rumex conglomeratus Flowering Plants
Rumex crispus Flowering Plants
Teucrium scordium Flowering Plants
Trifolium fragiferum Flowering Plants
Trifolium repens Flowering Plants
Triglochin palustris 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 E3.4 Moist or wet eutrophic and mesotrophic grassland narrower
European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100