Red List habitat classification > RLE - Grasslands > RLE5.2c Macaronesian thermophilous woodland fringe

Macaronesian thermophilous woodland fringe

Quick facts

Red List habitat type code RLE5.2c
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)

Summary

Perennial herbaceous communities, humus-prone although not nitrophile, of thermophile half-shade, mesophytic natural hedges and clearings of macaronesian laurel-forests [G2.3]. This habitat type is found on forest micro-sites receiving a greater amount of radiation, compared to those typical of forest conditions, but still being dependent on forest litterfall defining somewhat mesotrophic conditions. The communities often have a heterogeneous physiognomy dominated by large-flowered herbs or forbs unlike deep-shade forest understory strata. The absence of grazing pressure and nitrogen inputs from large herbivores is also mandatory for its persistence.  Although it shares some floristic elements with continental Europe forest-fringe communities (E5.2a & b): e.g. Agrimonia eupatoria, Brachypodium sylvaticum, Origanum virens, Carex divulsa, Lathyrus sylvestris, Clinopodium vulgare, Carex muricata subsp. lamprocarpa, etc., this type exhibits a great wealth of macaronesian neoendemics. According to each archipelago’s endemicity character, three variants can be respectively set for Madeira, the Azores and Canary Islands. That of the Azores (Pericallion malvifoliae) is the most floristically deviant from that shared by Madeira and the Canaries (Ranunculo cortusifolii-Geranion canariensis). Azorean variant is enriched from catenal contact with Azorean endemic grasslands [E1.F: Topido azoricae-Holcetea rigidi vegetation class]. Apart from being typical of laurel forest fringes, Canarian versions of the habitat may be also found in lower altitude subhumid canarian pinewoods [G3.8] and Madeiran versions may be found in altitude tree-heath forests [G2.7]. Catenal contacts are those with forest understory, shady fern-moss communities [Polypodion serrati, Polypodietea] and macaronesian heath woody fringes [Andryalo-Ericetalia arboreae or Frangulo-Lauretalia azoricae].

Indicators of good quality:

Maximal coenotic saturation of communities in relation to local endemic taxa would be a criterion of habitat quality. Thus, versions of habitat having higher syntaxa elements alone [at order and class levels] are considered basal (pioneer) or disturbed versions with less conservation value. Also, as disturbance is set, invasion of the biotope by shrubs, tree-saplings or shady nitrogen-prone vegetation [Geranio purpureae-Cardaminetalia hirsutae, Chenopodietea] lessens the value of the habitat. The habitat type is a fragile one and depends on the critical maintenance of integrity of forest conditions for protection and organic matter, including clearing persistence.

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

Threat status

Synthesis of Red List assessment

Because of the relatively small range combined with historical and continuing decline in quality, the habitat has been assigned to the category Near Threatened. The calculation of trend in quality was based only on Portuguese data, from where a reduction in quality of 35% of the area with moderate severity has been reported.
EU
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Near Threatened B2, C/D1
Europe
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Near Threatened B2, C/D1

Confidence in the assessment

medium
Red List of habitat categories and criteria descriptions

Pressures and threats

  • Agriculture
    • Grazing
    • Intensive grazing
  • Sylviculture, forestry
    • Artificial planting on open ground (non-native trees)
  • Transportation and service corridors
    • Roads, paths and railroads
  • Human intrusions and disturbances
    • Outdoor sports and leisure activities, recreational activities
    • Walking, horseriding and non-motorised vehicles

Habitat restoration potential

The removal of the forest causes a severe damage in the habitat, which will only be able to recover if the forest ecosystems is reconstructed again.

Trends in extent

Average current trend in quantity

Increasing Increasing
EU28 EU28+

Trends in quality

Average current trend in quality

Decreasing Decreasing
EU28 EU28+

Conservation and management needs

The conservation of the forest is essential for this habitat, as well as limiting nitrogen input in the touristic paths that cross these forests. Grazing should also be limited and conifer planting (e.g. Cryptomeria japonica) avoided.

List of conservation and management needs

  • Measures related to forests and wooded habitats
    • Restoring/Improving forest 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)
Portugal Azores Present 61 Decreasing Increasing
Madeira Present 61 Decreasing Increasing
Canary Islands 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 584500 69 61
EU28+ 69 61
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 Agrimonia eupatoria
Flowering Plants Ammi seubertianum
Flowering Plants Ammi trifoliatum
Flowering Plants Brachypodium sylvaticum
Flowering Plants Carex divulsa
Flowering Plants Chaerophyllum azoricum
Flowering Plants Clinopodium vulgare
Flowering Plants Dactylorhiza foliosa
Flowering Plants Lactuca watsoniana
Flowering Plants Lathyrus sylvestris
Flowering Plants Myosotis latifolia
Flowering Plants Origanum virens
Flowering Plants Pericallis malvifolia
Flowering Plants Ranunculus cortusifolius
Flowering Plants Viola paradoxa
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Agrimonia eupatoria Flowering Plants
Ammi seubertianum Flowering Plants
Ammi trifoliatum Flowering Plants
Brachypodium sylvaticum Flowering Plants
Carex divulsa Flowering Plants
Chaerophyllum azoricum Flowering Plants
Clinopodium vulgare Flowering Plants
Dactylorhiza foliosa Flowering Plants
Lactuca watsoniana Flowering Plants
Lathyrus sylvestris Flowering Plants
Myosotis latifolia Flowering Plants
Origanum virens Flowering Plants
Pericallis malvifolia Flowering Plants
Ranunculus cortusifolius Flowering Plants
Viola paradoxa 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 E5.2 Thermophile woodland fringes narrower
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