FA14 Directive farmland habitat types
Current conservation status
Directive farmland habitat types are mainly traditional rural biotopes which are created by traditional style grazing and mowing. EU Habitats Directive includes 11 traditional rural biotopes, which all require continuous and regular management. The only exception is hydrophilous tall herb communities which also occur naturally on streambanks and fell areas of the alpine region. Baltic coastal meadows and alluvial meadows are discussed with shore habitat types (see SH8), even though they too need to be grazed and mowed to remain open.
Traditional rural biotopes are mainly located in the boreal region. Only hydrophilous tall herb communities also occur in the alpine region. Conservation status of traditional rural biotopes in unfavourable. Nearly all types are in addition in unfavourable-bad and deteriorating state. Their total area has suffered a major decrease. Also, the area of distribution has decreased, most significantly that of lowland hay meadows, mountain hay meadows, species-rich Nardus grasslands and species-rich dry to mesic grasslands. Hydrophilous tall herb communities have been evaluated to represent somewhat better conservation status but the rural biotopes representing this habitat type have also degenerated since management ceased.
The end of management in traditonal rural biotopes results in eutrophication as less biomass in removed from the habitat. This leads to changes in species composition and eventually forestation. For more information about the farmland habitat types, see also FA13 Red-listed habitat types.
- Updated (14.05.2013)