Red List habitat classification > RLF - Heathland and scrub > RLF2.4 Subalpine Pinus mugo scrub

Subalpine Pinus mugo scrub

Quick facts

Red List habitat type code RLF2.4
Threat status
Europe Least Concern
EU Least Concern
Relation to
Source European Red List habitat factsheet
European Red List of habitats reports
European Red List of habitats (Excel table)

Summary

Conifer scrub dominated by Pinus mugo (krummholz) occurring in the mountains of central and southeastern Europe above the timberline. This scrub is usually 0.5-3 m tall, depending on the wind exposure of the site and the height of winter snow cover. It occurs on Podzols or Leptosols over both calcareous and siliceous bedrock. On calcareous substrates Pinus mugo can be accompanied by Rhododendron hirsutum, Rhodothamnus chamaecistus or Sorbus chamaemespilus, in wetter places by Alnus viridis. Species composition of the herb and moss layer depends on the bedrock type and adjacent vegetation. Herb layer tends to be more species-rich on calcareous substrates. Dwarf shrubs such as Vaccinium myrtillus and V. vitis-idaea and lichens of the genera Cladonia and Cetraria are common especially on acidic bedrock. Bryophytes such as Pleurozium schreberi often reach a high cover. This scrub occurs in the Hercynic mountains of central Europe, Eastern Alps, Carpathians, Central Apennines, Dinaric Alps and high mountains of the Balkan Peninsula. These areas represent its entire geographical range globally. Near the northern limit of its range in the Hercynic mountains, the belt with Pinus mugo scrub occurs at altitudes of 1200-1450 m, while it ascends up to 2500 m in the Balkans. In the Alps Pinus mugo scrub occurs mainly in the oceanic north-eastern and south-eastern parts of the mountain range, while it is rare in the Central Alps. On talus slopes Pinus mugo scrub can occur also below the timberline. Pinus mugo scrub on peatlands does not belong to this habitat type. Under natural conditions, Pinus mugo scrub can be both tall and dense or short and open. It can be both species-rich and very species-poor. None of these characteristics indicates habitat quality.

The following characteristics can be considered as indicators of good quality:

• No visible disturbance by trampling, skiing, cutting or burning;

• Absence of ruderal, nutrient-demanding species;

• No indication of scrub origin through planting, especially in places where it is not native.

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

Threat status

Synthesis of Red List assessment

The Red List criteria qualify this habitat for a Least Concern (LC) status as there is only a small negative trend in quantity and in quality over the last 50 years, and the habitat is relative widely distributed.
EU
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Least Concern -
Europe
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Least Concern -

Confidence in the assessment

medium
Red List of habitat categories and criteria descriptions

Pressures and threats

  • Sylviculture, forestry
    • Forestry clearance
    • Grazing in forests/ woodland
  • Transportation and service corridors
    • Paths, tracks, cycling tracks
  • Human intrusions and disturbances
    • Skiing complex
    • Other sport / Leisure complexes
    • Trampling, overuse
    • Vandalism
  • Climate change
    • Temperature changes (e.g. rise of temperature & extremes)

Habitat restoration potential

The habitat is able to restore naturally, even within relatively short periods.

Trends in extent

Average current trend in quantity

Stable Stable
EU28 EU28+

Trends in quality

Average current trend in quality

Stable Stable
EU28 EU28+

Conservation and management needs

After cessation of periodic burning it is observed a relatively rapid recovery of the area. The coenoses of the Dwarf pine are cut down for construction of ski tracks, tow-lifts and other tourist infrastructure. Decrease is due to road and skiing complexes construction. The habitat does not require special conservation measures.However it is necessary to avoid deforestation and burning of the Dwarf pine.

List of conservation and management needs

  • No measures
    • No measures needed for the conservation of the habitat/species
  • Measures related to forests and wooded habitats
    • Other forestry-related measures
    • Restoring/Improving forest habitats
    • Adapt forest management

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 540 Stable Decreasing
Bulgaria Present 150 Increasing Increasing
Croatia Present 45 Stable Stable
Czech Republic Present 11 Stable Increasing
France mainland Present 15 Stable Increasing
Germany Present 145 Stable Stable
Italy mainland Present 916.95 Unknown Stable
Romania Present 500 Decreasing Decreasing
Slovakia Present 145.55 Stable Stable
Slovenia Present 145 Stable 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 55 Stable Increasing
Switzerland Present 200 Stable Stable
Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) Present 10 Stable 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 5989900 826 2614
EU28+ 2297 2879
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 subsp. alpina
Conifers Pinus mugo
Ferns Athyrium distentifolium
Flowering Plants Adenostyles alliariae
Flowering Plants Alnus viridis
Flowering Plants Avenella flexuosa
Flowering Plants Calamagrostis arundinacea
Flowering Plants Daphne oleoides
Flowering Plants Dryas octopetala
Flowering Plants Erica carnea
Flowering Plants Gentiana punctata
Flowering Plants Homogyne alpina
Flowering Plants Rhododendron ferrugineum
Flowering Plants Rhododendron hirsutum
Flowering Plants Rhodothamnus chamaecistus
Flowering Plants Sesleria comosa
Flowering Plants Solidago virgaurea
Flowering Plants Sorbus aucuparia
Flowering Plants Sorbus chamaemespilus
Flowering Plants Trientalis europaea
Flowering Plants Vaccinium myrtillus
Fungi Cetraria islandica
Mosses & Liverworts Dicranum scoparium
Mosses & Liverworts Hylocomium splendens
Mosses & Liverworts Pleurozium schreberi
Mosses & Liverworts Rhytidiadelphus triquetrus
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Juniperus communis subsp. alpina Conifers
Pinus mugo Conifers
Athyrium distentifolium Ferns
Adenostyles alliariae Flowering Plants
Alnus viridis Flowering Plants
Avenella flexuosa Flowering Plants
Calamagrostis arundinacea Flowering Plants
Daphne oleoides Flowering Plants
Dryas octopetala Flowering Plants
Erica carnea Flowering Plants
Gentiana punctata Flowering Plants
Homogyne alpina Flowering Plants
Rhododendron ferrugineum Flowering Plants
Rhododendron hirsutum Flowering Plants
Rhodothamnus chamaecistus Flowering Plants
Sesleria comosa Flowering Plants
Solidago virgaurea Flowering Plants
Sorbus aucuparia Flowering Plants
Sorbus chamaemespilus Flowering Plants
Trientalis europaea Flowering Plants
Vaccinium myrtillus Flowering Plants
Cetraria islandica Fungi
Dicranum scoparium Mosses & Liverworts
Hylocomium splendens Mosses & Liverworts
Pleurozium schreberi Mosses & Liverworts
Rhytidiadelphus triquetrus Mosses & Liverworts

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 F2.4 Conifer scrub close to the tree limit same
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