Scientific name Fraxinus excelsior – Iris pseudacorus woodland
Common name Ash – Yellow Iris woodland
Community code WL3C

 

WL3C: Fraxinus excelsior – Iris pseudacorus woodland  WL3C: Fraxinus excelsior – Iris pseudacorus woodland  WL3C map: Fraxinus excelsior – Iris pseudacorus woodland

Download full pdf synopsis: WL3C

 

Vegetation

These wet woodlands have a high canopy of Fraxinus excelsior and Alnus glutinosa. Acer pseudoplatanus is frequently present while Salix cinerea is only occasional. In the understorey, Crataegus monogyna is a constant species and can form a dense thorny layer. Filipendula ulmaria, Hedera helix, Rubus fruticosus agg. and Carex remota are the most common plants in field layer, with Circaea lutetiana, Angelica sylvestris, Dryopteris dilatata, Chrysosplenium oppositifolium, Geum urbanum, Urtica dioica and Iris pseudacorus also frequently found. The chief bryophytes are Kindbergia praelonga, Thamnobryum alopecurum, Isothecium myosuroides, Hypnum cupressiforme and Brachythecium rutabulum.

 

Ecology

These stands are found mainly on gleys but also on well-drained mineral soils and basin peats. Edaphic conditions are relatively base-rich and fertile. It is a community primarily of flat ground in the lowlands, occurring where there is waterlogging, or periodic inundation from rivers or lakes.

 

Sub-communities

No sub-communities have been described for this community.

 

Similar communities

These stands are close to those of the other main wet ash woodland community, WL3A, and represent a less diverse variant. The present community also differs in that Betula pubescens is typically not found and Salix cinerea is only occasional. Conversely, Acer pseudoplatanus is more frequent here. Thuidium tamariscinum is notably less frequent in WL3C. Stands of WL3C occur on slightly more fertile soil than WL3A, reflected in the higher frequency of Urtica dioica.

 

Conservation value

This is on average a fairly species-rich woodland community but with a quite limited bryophyte flora. Stands along rivers and lakes which are subject to periodic inundation qualify as EU Annex I habitat 91E0 Residual alluvial forests*.

 

Management

The main threats to these woodlands include changes to hydrological regimes, overgrazing by livestock (usually cattle), woodland clearance and spread of non-native species such Acer pseudoplatanus.