Scientific name Agrostis stolonifera – Filipendula ulmaria marsh-grassland
Common name Creeping Bent Meadowsweet marsh-grassland
Community code GL1B

 

GL1B: Agrostis stolonifera – Filipendula ulmaria marsh-grassland  GL1B: Agrostis stolonifera – Filipendula ulmaria marsh-grassland  GL1B map: Agrostis stolonifera – Filipendula ulmaria marsh-grassland

Download full pdf synopsis: GL1B

 

Vegetation

Broadleaved herbs are at their most abundant here out of all the wet grassland communities, with grass species being much less prominent. Nevertheless, Agrostis stolonifera is the most frequent species, with Festuca rubra and Holcus lanatus also sometimes found. Sedges are a noteworthy component of the assemblage, with Carex nigra being a constant species and often plentiful, while Carex disticha, C. panicea and C. flacca may also occur in the relatively tall sward. Filipendula ulmaria is the mainstay of the forb cover, typically accompanied by Galium palustre, Ranunculus repens, Cardamine pratensis and Trifolium repens, and less frequently by Mentha aquatica, Ranunculus flammula, Potentilla anserina and Hydrocotyle vulgaris. Calliergonella cuspidata is also a constant and may be the only bryophyte present but it can be very abundant. On the wettest sites, Equisetum fluviatile and E. palustre may occur.

 

Ecology

The Agrostis stolonifera Filipendula ulmaria marsh-grassland occurs on basin peats and gleys in low-lying areas on seasonally flooded level ground near lakes and rivers. The upper soil horizons are typically rich in organic matter. Soils are of average fertility and are mildly base-rich in relation to other grasslands.

 

Sub-communities

Two sub-communities are described for this variable community but are not clear-cut. The Caltha palustris – Carex disticha sub-community (GL1Bi) represents more consistently wet, ranker sites and is the more frequent of the two. The Leontodon autumnalis Lotus corniculatus sub-community (GL1Bii) is found on sites which may dry out for part of the year, such as turloughs, and consequently are somewhat more grazed.

 

Similar communities

Community GL2A is similar, but that community is less species-rich and occurs on more mesotrophic soils. Sedges are also less characteristic in that community

 

Conservation value

This is a grassland community of medium species richness, of which some examples correspond to EU HD Annex I habitat 6410 Molinia meadows. Assemblages of river banks and lake margins with plants such as Filipendula ulmaria, Iris pseudacorus and Equisetum fluviatile may be regarded as EU HD Annex I habitat 6430 Hydrophilous tall herb.

 

Management

These swards are managed as rough grazing land (typically for cattle). The main threats to these marshy grasslands include improvement, abandonment and changes to flooding regime.