Red List habitat classification > RLG - Forests > RLG1.Ba Alnus cordata woodland

Alnus cordata woodland

Quick facts

Red List habitat type code RLG1.Ba
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

Broadleaved deciduous, non-riparian forests dominated by Alnus cordata, subendemic to Corsica (North-Eastern sectors of the island) and S-Italy (Campania, Basilicata and Calabria Regions). The dominant species is a relict from the Tertiary period and is also present in other areas, where it is considered not native. Biogeographically distributed on the Central-Mediterranean mountains, from the climatic point of view these forests develop preferentially between the hilly and the montane belts, occupying a transitional area between the deciduous oaks and the beech forests. From a geo-pedological point of view, they show a preference for siliceous substrata but can also be found on limestone. Alnus cordata tends to form forests, either pure or mixed with other deciduous species, such as Quercus cerris, Castanea sativa or, at higher altitudes, Fagus sylvatica. They tend to colonize steep slopes and sides of deep valleys. The Italian alder is a strong pioneer species with great affinity for mineral soils, and could largely expand after the drastic economic changes following the Second World War, when large agricultural areas were abandoned and left to natural evolution, especially at higher altitudes. These formations are characterized by very strong pace of growth in the juvenile stage, and quickly reach maturity (Bezzi et al. 1991). Unlike the other species of the genus Alnus, the Italian alder shuns soils where water stagnates for a long time, although it still shows a certain hygrophilous ecology. Regeneration occurs quickly and seedlings can grow fast after cutting or in clearings. Furthermore, Alnus cordata can play a prominent role in improving the soil, due to the presence of radical tubercles hosting microorganisms (Frankia alni) fixing the atmospheric nitrogen (Pirazzi 1984; Ducci & Tani, 2009).

These forest types often show a high environmental quality and host rare or endangered species.

Indicators of good quality:

● Dominance of Alnus cordata

● Presence of the distinctive woody associates and field layer

● Presence of the field layer flora typical of the region

● Uneven-aged canopy with signs of regeneration of woody dominants

● Presence of a well-developed structure of the tree layer

● Woodland permanent, not a successional stage; blocked dynamism due e.g. to the steep slope, where this forests represent the potential natural vegetation

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

Threat status

Synthesis of Red List assessment

The habitat is characterized by a small number of locations (AOO=67), but there is no indication of negative trends or threats. Alnus cordata is a pioneer and fast growing species which can recover after cutting. For southern Italy, without quantitative data, the habitat is considered to be stable, but no information is available for Corsica. Due to limited information, the habitat has been classified as Data Deficient.
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

  • Sylviculture, forestry
    • Forest and Plantation management & use
    • Grazing in forests/ woodland
  • Climate change
    • Changes in abiotic conditions
    • Changes in biotic conditions

Habitat restoration potential

The dominant species (Alnus cordata) is a strong pioneer species and could largely expand after land abandonment if left to natural dynamic, especially at higher altitudes. These formations are characterized by very strong rate of growth especially in the juvenile stage, and quickly reach maturity. Regeneration occurs quickly and seedlings can grow fast after cutting or in clearings.

Trends in extent

Average current trend in quantity

Unknown Unknown
EU28 EU28+

Trends in quality

Average current trend in quality

Unknown Unknown
EU28 EU28+

Conservation and management needs

Currently no conservation and management approaches are reported. Grazing control is considered important in order to avoid a reduction of the regeneration of the characteristic species.

List of conservation and management needs

  • Measures related to forests and wooded habitats
    • 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)
Corsica Present Unknown Unknown Unknown
Italy mainland Present 80 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 109000 67 >80 no data available for Corse (FR)
EU28+ 67 >80 no occurrences outside EU28
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.
Ferns Polystichum setiferum
Ferns Pteridium aquilinum
Flowering Plants Acer campestre
Flowering Plants Acer opalus subsp. obtusatum
Flowering Plants Alnus cordata
Flowering Plants Anemone apennina
Flowering Plants Aquilegia vulgaris
Flowering Plants Arisarum proboscideum
Flowering Plants Asperula taurina
Flowering Plants Brachypodium sylvaticum
Flowering Plants Carex sylvatica
Flowering Plants Castanea sativa
Flowering Plants Chaerophyllum temulum
Flowering Plants Circaea lutetiana
Flowering Plants Clematis vitalba
Flowering Plants Crataegus monogyna
Flowering Plants Crepis leontodontoides
Flowering Plants Cytisus villosus
Flowering Plants Fagus sylvatica
Flowering Plants Festuca exaltata
Flowering Plants Fragaria vesca
Flowering Plants Geranium nodosum
Flowering Plants Geranium robertianum
Flowering Plants Geranium versicolor
Flowering Plants Geum urbanum
Flowering Plants Hedera helix
Flowering Plants Lamium flexuosum
Flowering Plants Malus sylvestris
Flowering Plants Melittis albida
Flowering Plants Mycelis muralis
Flowering Plants Poa sylvicola
Flowering Plants Potentilla micrantha
Flowering Plants Primula vulgaris
Flowering Plants Prunus spinosa
Flowering Plants Pyrus pyraster
Flowering Plants Quercus cerris
Flowering Plants Rubus hirtus
Flowering Plants Rubus ulmifolius
Flowering Plants Rumex sanguineus
Flowering Plants Salvia glutinosa
Flowering Plants Stachys sylvatica
Flowering Plants Symphytum tuberosum
Flowering Plants Teucrium siculum
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Polystichum setiferum Ferns
Pteridium aquilinum Ferns
Acer campestre Flowering Plants
Acer opalus subsp. obtusatum Flowering Plants
Alnus cordata Flowering Plants
Anemone apennina Flowering Plants
Aquilegia vulgaris Flowering Plants
Arisarum proboscideum Flowering Plants
Asperula taurina Flowering Plants
Brachypodium sylvaticum Flowering Plants
Carex sylvatica Flowering Plants
Castanea sativa Flowering Plants
Chaerophyllum temulum Flowering Plants
Circaea lutetiana Flowering Plants
Clematis vitalba Flowering Plants
Crataegus monogyna Flowering Plants
Crepis leontodontoides Flowering Plants
Cytisus villosus Flowering Plants
Fagus sylvatica Flowering Plants
Festuca exaltata Flowering Plants
Fragaria vesca Flowering Plants
Geranium nodosum Flowering Plants
Geranium robertianum Flowering Plants
Geranium versicolor Flowering Plants
Geum urbanum Flowering Plants
Hedera helix Flowering Plants
Lamium flexuosum Flowering Plants
Malus sylvestris Flowering Plants
Melittis albida Flowering Plants
Mycelis muralis Flowering Plants
Poa sylvicola Flowering Plants
Potentilla micrantha Flowering Plants
Primula vulgaris Flowering Plants
Prunus spinosa Flowering Plants
Pyrus pyraster Flowering Plants
Quercus cerris Flowering Plants
Rubus hirtus Flowering Plants
Rubus ulmifolius Flowering Plants
Rumex sanguineus Flowering Plants
Salvia glutinosa Flowering Plants
Stachys sylvatica Flowering Plants
Symphytum tuberosum Flowering Plants
Teucrium siculum 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 G1.B Non-riverine Alnus woodland narrower
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