Scientific name Fraxinus excelsior – Acer pseudoplatanus woodland
Common name Ash – Sycamore woodland
Community code WL2C

 

WL2C: Fraxinus excelsior – Acer pseudoplatanus woodland  WL2C: Fraxinus excelsior – Acer pseudoplatanus woodland  WL2C map: Fraxinus excelsior – Acer pseudoplatanus woodland

Download full pdf synopsis: WL2C

 

Vegetation

This is a high forest community dominated by a closed canopy of Fraxinus excelsior and Acer pseudoplatanus. Quercus robur and Fagus sylvatica are occasional trees. The understorey is formed mainly by Crataegus monogyna, with Corylus avellana and Sambucus nigra frequent and Ilex aquifolium occasional. Hedera helix is typically abundant in the shaded field layer alongside the other constants of Rubus fruticosus agg. and Polystichum setiferum. Frequent species are Geum urbanum, Phyllitis scolopendrium, Viola riviniana/reichenbachiana, Dryopteris dilatata, Geranium robertianum, Arum maculatum and Lonicera periclymenum. Hyacinthoides non-scripta may be part of the vernal flora. The bryophyte layer consists mostly of Thamnobryum alopecurum, Eurhynchium striatum, Thuidium tamariscinum, Brachythecium rutabulum and Neckera complanata.

 

Ecology

This is a base-rich, fertile woodland community of well-drained mineral soils. It occurs on flat or sloping ground, in the lowlands. It may be particularly associated with old demesnes, urban areas and parklands.

 

Sub-communities

No sub-communities have been described for this community.

 

Similar communities

This community could be confused with the ash woodlands of WL2B. Stands of WL2C, however, usually have Acer pseudoplatanus in the canopy and greater frequency of Phyllitis scolopendrium, Polystichum setiferum, Sambucus nigra and Urtica dioica. Stands of WL2B are also rather more diverse.

 

Conservation value

This is not a particularly species-rich woodland community and has a limited bryophyte flora. Stands dominated by Acer pseudoplatanus, a non-native species, will typically have less conservation value than native woodlands.

 

Management

The main threats to these woodlands include woodland clearance and increased dominance of non-native species.  They may be grazed by livestock so overgrazing can be an issue. Undergrazing may also occur, however, resulting in dense thickets of bramble that reduce field layer diversity.