Scientific name Rhynchospora alba – Narthecium ossifragum bog
Common name White Beak-sedge – Bog Asphodel bog
Community code BG1B

 

BG1B: Rhynchospora alba – Narthecium ossifragum bog     BG1B: Rhynchospora alba – Narthecium ossifragum bog     BG1B map: Rhynchospora alba – Narthecium ossifragum bog

Download full pdf synopsis: BG1B

 

Vegetation

The main species in this rather open community are Rhynchospora alba, Molinia caerulea and Schoenus nigricans, accompanied by patches of Erica tetralix, Narthecium ossifragum and the wine-tipped leaves of Eriophorum angustifolium. The bryophyte layer is mostly composed of sphagna with Sphagnum papillosum constant and both Sphagnum cuspidatum and Sphagnum subsecundum agg. frequent, but dark conspicuous patches of Campylopus atrovirens will also be often seen. The sticky rosettes of Drosera spp. are also characteristic of this community with Drosera rotundifolia a constant species, while Drosera intermedia and Drosera anglica are frequent finds. Menyanthes trifoliata is occasional occurring in particularly wet areas, while Myrica gale may be found where there is a little groundwater flushing.

 

Ecology

This is mainly a community of wet depressions in lowland blanket bogs occurring on acidic, oligotrophic, ombrogenous deep peats.

 

Sub-communities

There are two sub-communities described. The Sphagnum subsecundum agg. – Eleocharis multicaulis sub-community (BG1Bi) represents examples of this vegetation with more flushing and in which one will find species such Carex panicea, Potamogeton polygonifolius, Juncus bulbosus and Anagallis tenella, which are not encountered in the typical Calluna vulgarisCampylopus atrovirens sub-community (BG1Bii).

 

Similar communities

The vegetation here is close to that of BG1A Sphagnum cuspidatum – Sphagnum subsecundum agg. bog but the cover of sphagna is not so high, Rhynchospora alba is more frequently present and Molinia caerulea and Schoenus nigricans are more prominent.

 

Conservation value

Almost all examples of this community qualify as EU HD Annex I habitat 7150 Rhynchosporion depressions. This is on average a moderately species-poor community but supports several specialists.

 

Management

The main threat to the bogs supporting this vegetation is turf-cutting, either by hand or machine, and associated drainage. Some sites have also suffered from afforestation. Locally, action has been taken to address these impacts and some sites are managed strictly for conservation.