Scientific name Molinia caeruleaSuccisa pratensis grassland
Common name Purple Moor-grass – Devil’s-bit Scabious grassland
Community code GL1C

 

GL1C: Molinia caerulea – Succisa pratensis grassland  GL1C: Molinia caerulea – Succisa pratensis grassland  GL1C map: Molinia caerulea – Succisa pratensis grassland

Download full pdf synopsis: GL1C

 

Vegetation

This is typically a species-rich grassland community with a number of constant species. Molinia caerulea is often an abundant species, but tends not to form large, dominating tussocks and may even be absent. Succisa pratensis is a strong indicator and can be plentiful, while Calliergonella cuspidata is usually abundant beneath the sward. Other constant graminoids include Carex panicea, Carex flacca, Juncus acutiflorus, Holcus lanatus, Festuca rubra and Anthoxanthum odoratum. Apart from Succisa, the main forbs are Potentilla erecta, Ranunculus acris, Trifolium spp., Plantago lanceolata, Prunella vulgaris, Filipendula ulmaria and Cirsium dissectum. Briza media and Carex pulicaris occur on the more calcareous soils.

 

Ecology

The Molinia caeruleaSuccisa pratensis grassland is a wet grassland community that primarily occurs in fairly low-lying areas on gleys but also on basin peats. These areas are often seasonally flooded (e.g. callows grassland). The soils are usually fairly acidic, markedly infertile and organic.

 

Sub-communities

No sub-communities are currently defined for this community.

 

Similar communities

GL1D Molinia caerulea Potentilla erecta – Agrostis stolonifera grassland is related to this community but is less rich in number of species and Molinia caerulea tends to dominate there in a taller, tussocky sward.

 

Conservation value

This is a species-rich grassland community. A high proportion of these plots (particularly those with Molinia caerulea and Cirsium dissectum) come from grassland classified as EU HD Annex I habitat 6410 Molinia meadows. Sites with good populations of Succisa pratensis can also be important for the EU HD Annex II species Marsh Fritillary (Euphydryas aurinia) as this is the main food plant for this butterfly species.

 

Management

These swards are managed as rough grazing land (typically for cattle) and/or through a traditional regime of mowing during the drier summer months (typically around August). In wetter years, mowing may not be possible. The main threats to these grasslands include improvement, abandonment and afforestation.