Red List habitat classification > RLG - Forests > RLG3.B Pinus sylvestris taiga woodland

Pinus sylvestris taiga woodland

Quick facts

Red List habitat type code RLG3.B
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

This is forest vegetation of sub-xeric, xeric and barren sites on mineral soils in the boreal and boreonemoral zones. The soils are usually podzolic with a raw humus layer. The tree canopy is almost always dominated by Pinus sylvestris, but mixed forests and even stands dominated by Betula pendula, B. pubescens or Picea abies can be found. Canopy composition is nowadays usually regulated by forestry. Alnus incana, Populus tremula, Salix caprea and Sorbus aucuparia may occur as individual trees usually on sub-xeric sites. Juniperus communis is common, but other shrubs, like Salix phylicifolia and S. starkeana, rarely occur. The understorey vegetation is dominated by dwarf shrubs, the most abundant species being Calluna vulgaris, Empetrum nigrum, Vaccinium myrtillus and V. vitis-idaea. In the middle and northern boreal subzones V. uliginosum, Diphasiastrum complanatum and Ledum palustre are common. Towards the north, the abundance of V. myrtillus and E. nigrum increases and the abundance of V. vitis-idaea decreases. Herb and grass species are few, and they are usually entirely missing from barren sites. Convallaria majalis, Epilobium angustifolium, Maianthemum bifolium , Pteridium aquilinum, Solidago virgaurea and Trientalis europaea are the most common herbs, but their small and pale shoots are often sterile. Antennaria dioica thrives on xeric sites. Graminoids include Calamagrostis epigejos, Deschampsia flexuosa, Festuca ovina and Luzula pilosa, but they are seldom abundant. In stands of this forest type on eskers there is some specialist flora, e.g. Oxytropis campestris and Thymys serpyllum. The ground layer is continuous. On sub-xeric sites, it is dominated by feather mosses, on barren sites by lichens. The number of moss, liverwort and lichen species increases towards the northern boreal subzone. The most dominant moss species are Hylocomium splendens and Pleurozium schreberi, followed by Dicranum polysetum, D. scoparium and Polytrichum juniperinum. In the northern boreal subzone, Dicranum drummondii and D. fuscescens are also common. Dominant lichens include Cladina arbuscula, C. mitis, C. rangiferina, C. stellaris, Cetraria islandica and Stereocaulon spp. In addition, on xeric and barren sites there usually are numerous Cladonia species. After a major disturbance such as forest fire, windfall or regeneration cutting, grasses usually increase moderately, bryophytes decrease and lichens increase.

Indicators of good quality:

• 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 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 & 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 Least Concern (LC) under criterion A1 in both EU28 and EU28+, as there has been only a small decline in its quantity within the last 50 years. The area of the habitat is currently stable in some and declining in other countries of Europe. There has also been a slight reduction in the quality of this habitat, leading to the same category (Least Concern) under criterion C/D1. The habitat quality continues to decrease throughout Europe. A more severe decline in quality has occurred already before the 1960's, but data on this decline are not available.
EU
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Least Concern -
Europe
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Least Concern -

Confidence in the assessment

high
Red List of habitat categories and criteria descriptions

Pressures and threats

  • Sylviculture, forestry
    • Forestry clearance
    • Removal of dead and dying trees
    • Thinning of tree layer
  • Natural System modifications
    • Lack of fires
  • Climate change
    • Habitat shifting and alteration

Habitat restoration potential

The habitat has a capacity to recover naturally after a severe damage, but a full recovery including deadwood and species which are dependent on it will take a very long time. The rate of recovery is also dependent on the extent of the damaged area. Measures like prescribed burning, planting trees or sowing tree seeds and adding artificial deadwood is likely to fasten the process considerably.

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

Current most common approaches involve establishing protected areas/sites, establishing wilderness areas/allowing succession, restoring/improving forest habitats and adaptation of forest management. Additional actions needed include further optimizing the use of funds for conservation (what kind of areas are chosen for conservation and where, conservation of all successional stages (protection of natural old forests, creating (simulated) young successional stages of natural forests), increasing prescribed burning and simulated forest fires, further developing methods for conservation/nature management in managed forests (e.g. deadwood), control of overgrazing and control of climate change.

List of conservation and management needs

  • Measures related to forests and wooded habitats
    • Restoring/Improving forest habitats
    • Adapt forest management
  • Measures related to spatial planning
    • Establish protected areas/sites
    • Establishing wilderness areas/allowing succession

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)
Estonia Present 440 Unknown Decreasing
Finland mainland Present 45645 Decreasing Decreasing
Aland Islands Present 45645 Decreasing Decreasing
Latvia Present 8690 Decreasing Decreasing
Lithuania Present 1100 Decreasing Decreasing
Sweden Present 68355 Decreasing Decreasing
Poland Present 250 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 39395 Decreasing 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 1307350 5153 124480
EU28+ 5586 163875
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.
Birds Caprimulgus europaeus
Birds Certhia familiaris
Birds Dryocopus martius
Birds Falco columbarius
Birds Loxia pytyopsittacus
Birds Lullula arborea
Birds Parus cinctus
Birds Perisoreus infaustus
Birds Phoenicurus phoenicurus
Birds Phylloscopus trochiloides
Birds Picoides tridactylus
Birds Pinicola enucleator
Birds Tetrao urogallus
Birds Turdus viscivorus
Conifers Juniperus communis
Conifers Picea abies
Conifers Pinus sylvestris
Ferns Diphasiastrum complanatum
Ferns Pteridium aquilinum
Flowering Plants Alnus incana
Flowering Plants Antennaria dioica
Flowering Plants Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
Flowering Plants Betula nana
Flowering Plants Betula pendula
Flowering Plants Calamagrostis epigejos
Flowering Plants Calamagrostis lapponica
Flowering Plants Calluna vulgaris
Flowering Plants Convallaria majalis
Flowering Plants Deschampsia flexuosa
Flowering Plants Empetrum nigrum
Flowering Plants Epilobium angustifolium
Flowering Plants Festuca ovina
Flowering Plants Ledum palustre
Flowering Plants Linnaea borealis
Flowering Plants Luzula pilosa
Flowering Plants Maianthemum bifolium
Flowering Plants Melampyrum pratense
Flowering Plants Oxytropis campestris
Flowering Plants Phyllodoce caerulea
Flowering Plants Populus tremula
Flowering Plants Salix caprea
Flowering Plants Salix phylicifolia
Flowering Plants Salix starkeana
Flowering Plants Solidago virgaurea
Flowering Plants Sorbus aucuparia
Flowering Plants Trientalis europaea
Flowering Plants Vaccinium myrtillus
Fungi Cetraria ericetorum
Fungi Cetraria islandica
Fungi Flavocetraria nivalis
Fungi Nephroma arcticum
Mosses & Liverworts Dicranum drummondii
Mosses & Liverworts Dicranum fuscescens
Mosses & Liverworts Dicranum polysetum
Mosses & Liverworts Dicranum scoparium
Mosses & Liverworts Hylocomium splendens
Mosses & Liverworts Pleurozium schreberi
Mosses & Liverworts Polytrichum juniperinum
Mosses & Liverworts Polytrichum piliferum
Mosses & Liverworts Ptilium crista-castrensis
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Caprimulgus europaeus Nightjar Birds
Certhia familiaris Treecreeper Birds
Dryocopus martius Black Woodpecker Birds
Falco columbarius Merlin Birds
Loxia pytyopsittacus Parrot Crossbill Birds
Lullula arborea Woodlark Birds
Parus cinctus Siberian Tit Birds
Perisoreus infaustus Siberian Jay Birds
Phoenicurus phoenicurus Redstart Birds
Phylloscopus trochiloides Birds
Picoides tridactylus Three-toed Woodpecker Birds
Pinicola enucleator Pine Grosbeak Birds
Tetrao urogallus Capercaillie Birds
Turdus viscivorus Mistle Thrush Birds
Juniperus communis Conifers
Picea abies Conifers
Pinus sylvestris Conifers
Diphasiastrum complanatum Ferns
Pteridium aquilinum Ferns
Alnus incana Flowering Plants
Antennaria dioica Flowering Plants
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi Flowering Plants
Betula nana Flowering Plants
Betula pendula Flowering Plants
Calamagrostis epigejos Flowering Plants
Calamagrostis lapponica Flowering Plants
Calluna vulgaris Flowering Plants
Convallaria majalis Flowering Plants
Deschampsia flexuosa Flowering Plants
Empetrum nigrum Flowering Plants
Epilobium angustifolium Flowering Plants
Festuca ovina Flowering Plants
Ledum palustre Flowering Plants
Linnaea borealis Flowering Plants
Luzula pilosa Flowering Plants
Maianthemum bifolium Flowering Plants
Melampyrum pratense Flowering Plants
Oxytropis campestris Flowering Plants
Phyllodoce caerulea Flowering Plants
Populus tremula Flowering Plants
Salix caprea Flowering Plants
Salix phylicifolia Flowering Plants
Salix starkeana Flowering Plants
Solidago virgaurea Flowering Plants
Sorbus aucuparia Flowering Plants
Trientalis europaea Flowering Plants
Vaccinium myrtillus Flowering Plants
Cetraria ericetorum Fungi
Cetraria islandica Fungi
Flavocetraria nivalis Fungi
Nephroma arcticum Fungi
Dicranum drummondii Mosses & Liverworts
Dicranum fuscescens Mosses & Liverworts
Dicranum polysetum Mosses & Liverworts
Dicranum scoparium Mosses & Liverworts
Hylocomium splendens Mosses & Liverworts
Pleurozium schreberi Mosses & Liverworts
Polytrichum juniperinum Mosses & Liverworts
Polytrichum piliferum Mosses & Liverworts
Ptilium crista-castrensis Mosses & Liverworts

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Other classifications

Not available
European Environment Agency (EEA)
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