Red List habitat classification > RLF - Heathland and scrub > RLF3.1b Temperate Rubus scrub

Temperate Rubus scrub

Quick facts

Red List habitat type code RLF3.1b
Threat status
Europe Data Deficient
EU Data Deficient
Relation to
Source European Red List habitat factsheet
European Red List of habitats reports
European Red List of habitats (Excel table)

Summary

Deciduous or sometimes evergreen scrub dominated by bramble (Rubus spp) found in the Atlantic and Sub-Atlantic regions, and outside these regions in sites with a specific cool microclimate. Bramble scrub grows in ‘intermediate’ conditions (on not too wet or too dry soils, in not too warm or too cold climates), in intermediate succession stages or spatial transitions (from low herbaceous vegetation towards forest) and under a relatively stable microclimate. Most bramble species are not resistant towards grazing or mowing and also not towards flooding. The habitat contains – often species-rich – bramble scrubs of the open landscapes (intermediate succession stages), forest edges and some forest clear-cut areas. It also includes semi-natural structures of the cultural landscape dominated by brambles, like hedge rows, road verges and other structures separating parcels of agricultural land. In some cases they form spatial transitions to (higher) scrubs of the habitat F3.1e Temperate and submediterranean thorn scrub.

Within the habitat type, a main division can be made based on soil type. A first subtype contains bramble scrub of poor, sandy soils in north-western Europe, belonging to the class Lonicero-Rubetea plicati, alliance Lonicero-Rubion silvatici. A second subtype includes bramble scrub on nutrient richer or more base-rich soils, with a broader distribution in central and western Europe, and belonging to the class Rhamno-Prunetea, alliance Pruno spinosae-Rubion radulae. The latter subtype forms transitions towards habitat type E3.1e Temperate and submediterranean thorn scrub.

The type relates to inland (in general) long-lasting scrubs, relatively rich in bramble species. Temporary bramble communities on clear-cut forest areas on nutrient-rich or base-rich soils (alliance Athyrio filix-feminae-Rubion idaei) form a short-term succession stage towards Sambuco racemosae-Salicion capreae; both alliances together are considered part of habitat F3.1d Temperate woodland clearing scrub. Bramble scrubs in Atlantic dunes are considered part of type B1.6a Atlantic and Baltic coastal dune scrub. Also excluded from this habitat are the (sub)mediterranean bramble scrubs with Rubus ulmifolius as the main (and often only) species. Rubus ulmifolius has a broad ecology, and vegetation dominated by it in most situations is a mixture of Rubus ulmifolius with thorny shrubs of the class Rhamno-Prunetea (for example Rosa spp.). They are not bramble scrubs in a strict sense, and habitats of this type (alliance Pruno spinosae-Rubion ulmifolii), are considered as part of type F3.1e Temperate and submediterranean thorn scrub. Finally, also bramble scrubs dominated by non-European species, like Rubus armeniacus, are excluded.

Natural bramble scrubs as intermediate succession stages from grassland or heathland towards forest are restricted to Atlantic and Subatlantic lowlands and submontane areas of Central-Europe. Further eastwards (like in eastern Germany and the Czech Republic) brambles are mainly restricted to shaded conditions (forest understorey, forest edges), and the bramble habitat is more scattered in localities with specific conditions. Further northwards the number of brambles decreases quickly, with only a few species in southern Norway and south Sweden. Also southwards few species occur, and species-rich communities become rare. It is plausible that bramble scrubs have increased during the 20th century in parts of the distribution range, as in the 19th century the semi-natural landscape was much more open and more intensively grazed. On the other hand, during the 20th century severe losses will have happened in the cultural landscape, due to increasing parcel sizes (removal of hedges), eutrophication and invasion of non-native species (such as Prunus serotina).

Rubus in Europe is one of the most species-rich (and most complicated) genera in the temperate parts of Europe, with many taxa propagating by apomictic (non-sexual) mechanisms. In total, about 700 species have been described in Atlas Flora Europaeae, while about 1000 species are estimated to exist in Europe. Most of these species are considered to be relatively young, probably originating from a small set of relict species after the Ice Ages. The highest species richness of Rubus is found in Ireland, the United Kingdom, southern Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, northern France and the Czech Republic. Many of the Rubus species are regional endemics, giving this type a high importance from a biodiversity point of view. The most characteristic brambles in this Temperate bramble scrubs habitat are species of the Rubus subsection Rubus , which are deciduous. Especially the series rhamnifolii and discolores within this subsection, some of the most spiny groups of brambles, are well represented.

As well as for endemic bramble species, bramble scrubs are important for fauna, providing nectar for many insect groups when flowering, food for birds and mammals, and important hiding or nesting structures for many animal species.

Indicators of good quality:

  • Presence of regional endemic species
  • Absence of alien species
  • High diversity in Rubus species

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

Threat status

Synthesis of Red List assessment

The data for assessment of trends in extent cover less than 40% of the area of the type. Although the provided data for some of the Red List criteria indicate a Least Concern status for the habitat, the overall conclusion is Data Deficient, because of the many knowledge gaps, especially for trends in quantity.
EU
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Data Deficient -
Europe
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Data Deficient -

Confidence in the assessment

low
Red List of habitat categories and criteria descriptions

Pressures and threats

  • Agriculture
    • Agricultural intensification
    • Removal of hedges and copses or scrub
  • Sylviculture, forestry
    • Forest and Plantation management & use
  • Invasive, other problematic species and genes
    • Invasive non-native species
  • Natural biotic and abiotic processes (without catastrophes)
    • Species composition change (succession)

Habitat restoration potential

The habitat is able to restore naturally, even within relatively short periods. However many species have only a very limited regional occurrence and by damaging the habitat some of them are in danger of becoming extinct without any possibility of restoration.

Trends in extent

Average current trend in quantity

Unknown Unknown
EU28 EU28+

Trends in quality

Average current trend in quality

Decreasing Decreasing
EU28 EU28+

Conservation and management needs

In most cases no management is needed, but in some situation removal of trees or alien invasive species may be needed to prevent deterioration of the habitat.

List of conservation and management needs

  • No measures
    • No measures needed for the conservation of the habitat/species
  • Measures related to agriculture and open habitats
    • Maintaining grasslands and other open habitats

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)
Belgium Present unknown Unknown Decreasing
Bulgaria Present unknown Stable Increasing
Croatia Present 1.5 Stable Increasing
Czech Republic Present 100 Stable Increasing
Denmark Present unknown Unknown Unknown
France mainland Present unknown Unknown Increasing
Germany Present unknown Decreasing Unknown
Hungary Present May-50 - Unknown
Netherlands Present unknown Decreasing Unknown
Slovenia Present 4 Stable Stable
Northern Island Present 210 Decreasing Decreasing
Ireland Present unknown Unknown Unknown
Luxembourg Present unknown - -
Spain mainland Present 0.8 Decreasing Stable
United Kingdom Present 210 Decreasing Decreasing
Slovakia Present 10 Stable Stable
Austria Uncertain - -
Poland Present unknown Unknown Unknown
EU28 + Present or presence uncertain Current area of habitat (Km2) Recent trend in quantity (last 50 years) Recent trend in quality (last 50 years)
Switzerland Present 5 Decreasing Decreasing

Extent of Occurrence, Area of Occupancy and habitat area

Extent of Occurrence (EOO) (Km2) Area of Occupancy (AOO) Current estimated Total Area Comment
EU28 2565300 163 unknown
EU28+ 169 unknown
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 Prunus serotina
Flowering Plants Rubus ammobius
Flowering Plants Rubus armeniacus
Flowering Plants Rubus bertramii
Flowering Plants Rubus bifrons
Flowering Plants Rubus divaricatus
Flowering Plants Rubus egregius
Flowering Plants Rubus flexuosus
Flowering Plants Rubus gelertii
Flowering Plants Rubus geniculatus
Flowering Plants Rubus gratus
Flowering Plants Rubus hypomalacus
Flowering Plants Rubus laciniatus
Flowering Plants Rubus lindleianus
Flowering Plants Rubus macrophyllus
Flowering Plants Rubus montanus
Flowering Plants Rubus mucronulatus
Flowering Plants Rubus nemoralis
Flowering Plants Rubus nessensis
Flowering Plants Rubus opacus
Flowering Plants Rubus pallidus
Flowering Plants Rubus phyllostachys
Flowering Plants Rubus plicatus
Flowering Plants Rubus polyanthemus
Flowering Plants Rubus praecox
Flowering Plants Rubus pyramidalis
Flowering Plants Rubus radula
Flowering Plants Rubus rudis
Flowering Plants Rubus rufescens
Flowering Plants Rubus schlechtendalii
Flowering Plants Rubus scissus
Flowering Plants Rubus senticosus
Flowering Plants Rubus silvaticus
Flowering Plants Rubus sprengelii
Flowering Plants Rubus sulcatus
Flowering Plants Rubus ulmifolius
Flowering Plants Rubus vestitus
Flowering Plants Rubus winteri
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Prunus serotina Flowering Plants
Rubus ammobius Flowering Plants
Rubus armeniacus Flowering Plants
Rubus bertramii Flowering Plants
Rubus bifrons Flowering Plants
Rubus divaricatus Flowering Plants
Rubus egregius Flowering Plants
Rubus flexuosus Flowering Plants
Rubus gelertii Flowering Plants
Rubus geniculatus Flowering Plants
Rubus gratus Flowering Plants
Rubus hypomalacus Flowering Plants
Rubus laciniatus Flowering Plants
Rubus lindleianus Flowering Plants
Rubus macrophyllus Flowering Plants
Rubus montanus Flowering Plants
Rubus mucronulatus Flowering Plants
Rubus nemoralis Flowering Plants
Rubus nessensis Flowering Plants
Rubus opacus Flowering Plants
Rubus pallidus Flowering Plants
Rubus phyllostachys Flowering Plants
Rubus plicatus Flowering Plants
Rubus polyanthemus Flowering Plants
Rubus praecox Flowering Plants
Rubus pyramidalis Flowering Plants
Rubus radula Flowering Plants
Rubus rudis Flowering Plants
Rubus rufescens Flowering Plants
Rubus schlechtendalii Flowering Plants
Rubus scissus Flowering Plants
Rubus senticosus Flowering Plants
Rubus silvaticus Flowering Plants
Rubus sprengelii Flowering Plants
Rubus sulcatus Flowering Plants
Rubus ulmifolius Flowering Plants
Rubus vestitus Flowering Plants
Rubus winteri 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 FA.4 Species-poor hedgerows of native species overlap
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200711 F3.1 Temperate thickets and scrub overlap
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200711 FA.3 Species-rich hedgerows of native species overlap
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