Scientific name Cephaloziella nicholsonii – Cephaloziella stellulifera mine-spoil community
Common name Greater Copperwort – Heath Threadwort mine-spoil community
Community code RH3A

 

RH3A: Cephaloziella nicholsonii – Cephaloziella stellulifera mine-spoil community  RH3A: Cephaloziella nicholsonii – Cephaloziella stellulifera mine-spoil community  RH3A map: Cephaloziella nicholsonii – Cephaloziella stellulifera mine-spoil community

Download full pdf synopsis: RH3A

 

Vegetation

This is a highly variable community of spoil heaps which lacks any constant species. It brings together, however, patchy vegetation characterised by the presence of several metallophytes. Much of the cover is provided by diminutive bryophytes with Cephaloziella stellulifera and Cephaloziella nicholsonii both frequent species. Other components of the bryophyte layer may include Dicranella varia, Pohlia nutans and Jungermannia gracillima. Agrostis capillaris and Rumex acetosella are the most likely vascular plants to be encountered.

Ecology

Only on metalliferous spoil associated with old mine workings is this community likely to be encountered, where the ground contains high concentrations of zinc, lead or copper.

 

Sub-communities

No sub-communities are described.

 

Similar communities

This is a rather difficult community to settle on with confidence as it is characterised by the presence of several diminutive bryophyte species which usually require fertile plants, a microscope and specialist expertise for a positive identification. Community RH3B can also occur on mine spoil, but bryophytes are a less important part of the flora there and Silene uniflora is invariably present.

Conservation value

Most examples of this vegetation correspond to the Irish interpretation of EU HD Annex I habitat 6130 Calaminarian grassland. It supports a range of rare and protected bryophyte species, such as Cepahaloziella nicholsonii and Pohlia andalusica.

 

Management

This community is essentially unmanaged. Pressures include recreational activities and gradual succession to other vegetation types as metals are leached from the soil.