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The European context of British Lowland Grassland 2007

Terrestrial JNCC Publications 0963-8091 European European Reporting Grassland Habitats Habitats Directive JNCC report series Lower plants Plants UK BAP 394


The report describes the character and occurrence of the constituent plant communities of these habitats in terms of the National Vegetation Classification, with a separate section reviewing the situation for Northern Ireland. Using a phytosociological approach, it then outlines the wider occurrence of related vegetation types elsewhere in Europe, emphasising similarities and contrasts to the UK and indicating the various factors – climatic, edaphic, cultural or historical – that underlie these patterns. The study focuses on the 25 European Union states but, where relevant information is available for countries bordering on the EU, this has been included.

Important threats to Lowland Grasslands include continuing eutrophication from agricultural improvement and atmospheric deposition but neglect of management and abandonment are becoming increasingly important. Failure to manage at landscape-scale and in ways which accommodate dynamic ecological processes also threaten the sustainability of these habitats. The report also identifies some possible impacts of climate change. Conservation initiatives in Lowland Grasslands are diverse but unevenly spread across the full range of habitats and their approaches and achievements are inadequately disseminated. However, novel partnerships, community involvement and a local focus are striking features of some projects. Research is needed on the underlying environmental factors that influence the distribution and occurrence of lowland grasslands, relationships between biodiversity and productivity, the impacts of grazing, species recruitment and assembly rules and dynamic processes operating at landscape scale.

Resource type Publication

Topic category Environment

Reference date 2007·02·01

Rodwell, J.S., Morgan, V., Jefferson, R.G. & Moss, D. 2007. The European context of British Lowland Grassland, JNCC Report No. 394, JNCC, Peterborough, ISSN 0963-8091.

This report assesses the significance of British Lowland Grasslands, occurring below the line of enclosure or moorland wall, within a wider European framework.

Responsible organisation
Communications, JNCC publisher

Limitations on public access No limitations

Use constraints Available under the Open Government Licence 3.0

Metadata date 2020·02·17

Metadata point of contact
Communications, JNCC

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