Red List habitat classification > RLH - Sparsely vegetated habitats > RLH2.6a Temperate, lowland to montane base-rich scree

Temperate, lowland to montane base-rich scree

Quick facts

Red List habitat type code RLH2.6a
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)


Mostly coarse, unstabilized, dry, sunny, calcareous and marble screes of the colline and montane levels of the low- to mid-altitude levels of the temperate European reliefs, including the piedmonts of the Alps, Jura, Pyrenees, Carpathians and Hercynian ranges. They are located on the slopes of mountains, hills, but also in gorges. The vegetation can completely lack, but in other cases is represented by forb- or fern- dominated communities. The main plant species are Achnatherum calamagrostis, Melica ciliata, Galeopsis angustifolia, Rumex scutatus, Vincetoxicum hirundinaria and the ferns Gymnocarpium dryopteris. The fern swards colonize often slightly damp parts of screes. Other species in these more mesophilous screes are Eupatorium cannabinum, Valeriana officinalis, Galeopsis ladanum. The vegetation mostly belongs to the alliances Stipion calamagrostis and Arabidion alpinae. The plant communities of calcareous screes of the Paris basin and its periphery (Leontodontion hyoseroidis) have many rare or endemic plants, like the endangered endemic Viola hispida. The screes of the Eastern Carpathians are characterized by the presence of numerous sub-Mediterranean thermophilous species and some Balkan-Carpathian subendemics, which penetrate northwards from the south to the sunny and warm habitats. Carpathian endemics on screes in Romania are amongst others Silene nutans subsp. dubia and Thymus comosus. Similar communities can occur on secondary substrates, like quarries. 

Indicators of quality:

The following characteristics may be considered as indicators of good quality:
•    natural erosion processes
•    absence of non-native species (e.g. Robinia pseudacacia may support the processes of stabilisation of screes and extinction of the typical flora)
•    presence of habitat rare, endemic and relict species
•    absence of human activities, like grazing.

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

Threat status

Synthesis of Red List assessment

This habitat type qualifies for a Least Concern status, both for EU28 and EU28+ because average trends in quantity and quality are slight. Looking at the upper limit of decrease – the worst decrease – calculated with the data (around -20% over the last 50 years), the Nearly Threatened category could be assigned with justification, but quality, consistency and completeness are not sufficient enough to do so.
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Least Concern -
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Least Concern -

Confidence in the assessment

Red List of habitat categories and criteria descriptions

Pressures and threats

  • Mining, extraction of materials and energy production
    • Mining and quarrying
  • Transportation and service corridors
    • Roads, paths and railroads
  • Human intrusions and disturbances
    • Outdoor sports and leisure activities, recreational activities
  • Natural biotic and abiotic processes (without catastrophes)
    • Biocenotic evolution, succession

Habitat restoration potential

The habitat has some capacity to recover naturally but it is dependent on some geomorphological processes which are very slow (erosion). As far as we know, there is no experiment of restoration of screes.

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

There is no management need for this highly natural habitat to remain but leaving it undisturbed and undamaged. Natural succession should not be considered as a problem because it is not human-induced. Conservation is then effective when free evolution is possible, like within protected areas. ‘Manage landscape features’ refers to the need to better protect this kind of habitats showing a high degree of naturalness in land-use planning, especially when no other specific regulation can be applied (no protected species or habitat, outside a protected area, outside a N2000 site).

List of conservation and management needs

  • Measures related to spatial planning
    • Manage landscape features


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)
Bulgaria Present unknown Decreasing Decreasing
Austria Present 11 Decreasing Decreasing
Czech Republic Present 1 Decreasing Stable
France mainland Present 75 Decreasing Decreasing
Germany Present 7 Decreasing Decreasing
Hungary Present unknown Unknown Unknown
Slovakia Present 3.9 Stable Decreasing
Spain mainland Present 70 Stable Stable
Belgium Present 1 Decreasing Decreasing
Ireland Present 20 Unknown Decreasing
Croatia Present marginal Unknown Unknown
Romania Present 7 Decreasing Stable
Slovenia Present 35 Stable Stable
United Kingdom Present 6 Increasing Stable
Poland Present 0.2 Decreasing Decreasing
Italy mainland 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)
Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) Present unknown Unknown Unknown
Switzerland Present 150 Decreasing Decreasing
Bosnia and Herzegovina Present 2 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 1741550 400 237 Important missing data from Italy. Data from Poland and Bosnia-Herzegovinia are not included due to late arrival of data.
EU28+ 404 387 Important missing data from Italy. Data from Poland and Bosnia-Herzegovinia are not included due to late arrival of data.
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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