Scientific name Agrostis capillaris – Trifolium repens grassland
Common name Common Bent – White Clover grassland
Community code GL4A

 

GL4A: Agrostis capillaris – Trifolium repens grassland  GL4A: Agrostis capillaris – Trifolium repens grassland  GL4A map: Agrostis capillaris – Trifolium repens grassland

Download full pdf synopsis: GL4A

 

Vegetation

The main grass species in this community are Agrostis capillaris (which dominates), Anthoxanthum odoratum, Holcus lanatus and Festuca rubra. Among the forbs, Trifolium repens and Rumex acetosa are constants, with Cerastium fontanum, Ranunculus repens and Plantago lanceolata also frequent. Of the other species which may occur, some are more characteristic of the uplands (e.g. Galium saxatile and Potentilla erecta), while others are more characteristic of lowland, dry mesotrophic swards (e.g. Cynosurus cristatus, Ranunculus acris and Hypochaeris radicata) or wet grassland (e.g. Juncus effusus and Lotus pedunculatus). Some minor degree of improvement is signified by the frequency of Lolium perenne. The main component of the bryophyte layer is Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus.

 

Ecology

The Agrostis capillaris – Trifolium repens grassland is a variable and rather poorly defined semi-improved community of the lower uplands, which occurs mainly on drained mineral soils or rather peaty gleys.

 

Sub-communities

No sub-communities are described.

 

Similar communities

Both communities GL4B, the Nardus stricta – Potentilla erecta grassland, and GL4C, the Agrostis capillaris – Potentilla erecta grassland, also have an abundance of Agrostis capillaris in the sward, but they typically occur at higher altitudes than GL4A and are differentiated by the greater frequency of upland, calcifuge species such as Nardus stricta, Hylocomium splendens, Carex binervis, Danthonia decumbens and Galium saxatile.

 

Conservation value

This is a fairly species-poor grassland community with relatively little recognised conservation value.

 

Management

These swards are managed as rough grazing land, typically for sheep or cattle. The main threats to these grasslands include overgrazing, improvement, abandonment (e.g. bracken or heath encroachment) and afforestation.