Scientific name Agrostis capillaris – Potentilla erecta grassland
Common name Common Bent – Tormentil grassland
Community code GL4C

 

GL4C: Agrostis capillaris – Potentilla erecta grassland  GL4C: Agrostis capillaris – Potentilla erecta grassland  GL4C map: Agrostis capillaris – Potentilla erecta grassland

Download full pdf synopsis: GL4C

 

Vegetation

The constant grasses in this community are Anthoxanthum odoratum, Agrostis capillaris, Festuca rubra and Holcus lanatus, while Nardus stricta and Danthonia decumbens are frequent. Potentilla erecta, Trifolium repens, Plantago lanceolata and Galium saxatile are the main broadleaved herbs, with Succisa pratensis, Prunella vulgaris and Cirsium palustre frequent. The bryophyte layer is fairly well developed and contains Hylocomium splendens, Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus, Scleropodium purum and Thuidium tamariscinum. Some sites have a measure of calcareous influence evidenced by the occurrence of Carex flacca and Lotus corniculatus.

 

Ecology

The Agrostis capillaris – Potentilla erecta grassland is chiefly a community of the lower uplands. The soils vary from upland peats to gleys and drained mineral earths and are infertile, humid and strongly acidic.

 

Sub-communities

No sub-communities are described

 

Similar communities

Community GL4C is intermediate in nature between the higher upland swards of GL4B Nardus stricta – Potentilla erecta grassland and the variable, somewhat semi-improved swards of GL4A Agrostis capillaris – Trifolium repens grassland which is found at slightly lower altitudes. The present community has greater forb diversity than GL4B but a stronger calcifuge component than GL4A.

 

Conservation value

This is a fairly species-rich grassland community. Examples on calcareous substrates may relate to EU HD Annex I priority habitat 6210 Orchid-rich calcareous grassland*. Examples on siliceous substrates (but with some calcareous flushing) may relate to EU HD Annex I priority habitat 6230 Species-rich Nardus upland grassland*.

 

Management

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