Red List habitat classification > RLG - Forests > RLG3.4a Temperate and continental Pinus sylvestris woodland

Temperate and continental Pinus sylvestris woodland

Quick facts

Red List habitat type code RLG3.4a
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)


These are Pinus sylvestris woodlands with patchy occurrence across the hemiboreal and northern temperate zone of Europe. This light-demanding tree has a competitive advantage on more nutrient-poor soils that are less favourable to Picea abies or broad-leaved deciduous trees, or are beyond their geographical range. The pine canopy is often rather open in southern Scandinavia, more closed to the west in Scotland and further south where the woodland occurs across north Germany, Poland, Latvia and Lithuania and into Ukraine and Russia. Unable to rejuvenate beneath denser canopies or in a thick moss and litter carpet, the pine is naturally dependent on fire or canopy clearance for regeneration, so even-aged groves are common. Common associates in the canopy are Betula pendula, B. pubescens, Populus tremula, Juniperus communis and Sorbus aucuparia. Other local Sorbus spp., Quercus robur and Frangula alnus are found more commonly further south. Beneath, there is a cover of Vaccinium myrtillus, V. vitis-idaea, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, Rubus saxatilis and Melampyrum pratense together with more thermophilous nemoral plants such as Hepatica nobilis, Melica nutans, Anemone nemorosa, Carex digitata and Epipactis atrorubens. Contrasts in soils also exert an influence on the associated flora, a dry grassland and meadow contingent with basiphilous species characterizing the pine woodlands of limestones with rendzinas in southern Sweden, Öland and Gotland, while more calcifuge species appearing on the podzols of the outwash plains, periglacial deposits and river terraces of the northern European plain – Luzula pilosa, Pyrola chlorantha, Carex digitata, Hylocomium splendens, Dicranum scoparium, D. polysetum and Pleurozium schreberi. On the inland sands of Poland, psammophytic pine woodlands have Peucedanum oreoselinum, Anthericum ramosum and Dianthus carthusianorum. In some subtypes extensive cover of lichens can occur with mostly Cetraria and Cladonia species.

Indicators of quality:

• No forest exploitations (if applicable, mainly azonal types with high nature value).
• Natural composition of canopy.
• Structural diversity/ complexity with (semi)natural age structure or completeness of layers.
• Typical flora and fauna composition of the region.
• Presence of old trees and a variety of dead wood (lying or standing) and the associated flora, fauna and fungi.
• Presence of natural disturbance such as treefall openings with natural regeneration.
• Long historical continuity (ancient woodland) with high species diversity.
• Survival of larger stands of forest without anthropogenic fragmentation and isolation (to support fauna which need large undisturbed forests).
• Absence of non-native species in all layers (flora and fauna).
• No signs of eutrophication or pollution.
• No signs of acidification (relevant mainly for oligotrophic or acidic types).
• No man-induced very high population levels of ungulates.

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

Threat status

Synthesis of Red List assessment

The habitat is assessed as Near Threatened (NT) based on criterion C/D1, because it has experienced a slight decline in quality (42-43% severity affecting 66% of its extent, which is close to the threshold for Vulnerable (50% decline affecting 50% of the extent of the habitat).
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Near Threatened C/D1
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Near Threatened C/D1

Confidence in the assessment

Red List of habitat categories and criteria descriptions

Pressures and threats

  • Sylviculture, forestry
    • Forest and Plantation management & use
    • Grazing in forests/ woodland
  • Mining, extraction of materials and energy production
    • Mining and quarrying
  • Pollution
    • Nutrient enrichment (N, P, organic matter)

Habitat restoration potential

After major disturbance, this habitat can regenerate through natural succession within 20-30 years. No intervention is needed.

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

The conservation measures suggested to protect this habitat include protection of existing stands, application of nature-friendly forestry management, and continuation of historical management in places where these forests are a legacy of past management.

List of conservation and management needs

  • Measures related to forests and wooded habitats
    • Adapt forest management


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)
Czech Republic Present 160 Decreasing Decreasing
Estonia Present 34 Stable Stable
France mainland Present 10 Stable Stable
Germany Present <10 Decreasing Decreasing
Hungary Present 11 Decreasing Decreasing
Italy mainland Present 159 Stable Stable
Latvia Present 326 Decreasing Unknown
Lithuania Present 4500 Decreasing Stable
Slovakia Present 24 Unknown Stable
Slovenia Present 150 Stable Stable
United Kingdom Present 245 Decreasing Stable
Poland Present 2520 Decreasing Decreasing
Austria Uncertain Unknown Unknown
Sweden Present Unknown Unknown Unknown
Romania Uncertain 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)
Norway Mainland Present 3455 Decreasing Decreasing
Switzerland Present 12 Decreasing Stable
Kaliningrad Present Unknown Unknown Unknown

Extent of Occurrence, Area of Occupancy and habitat area

Extent of Occurrence (EOO) (Km2) Area of Occupancy (AOO) Current estimated Total Area Comment
EU28 3038400 1548 >8144 Current estimated Total Area cannot be provided because of missing data from some countries. The figure represents the minimum area of occurrence.
EU28+ 1632 >11611 Current estimated Total Area cannot be provided because of missing data from some countries. The figure represents the minimum area of occurrence.
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

Not available

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Other classifications

Not available
European Environment Agency (EEA)
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1050 Copenhagen K
Phone: +45 3336 7100