Á-NÉR 2007 DE/EN - list of semi-natural habitats with short description, in English. This translation is based on the paper of BÖLÖNI, KUN, MOLNÁR és BIRÓ (2007). One can find the original paper at the section of attached publications (see below) or download from here (2.4 MB, PDF).
A1 – Standing water communities with Trapa, Lemna, Salvinia and Ceratophyllum: Floating or shallowly rooted annual aquatic communities with high cover ratio in eutrophic standing waters.
A23 – Euhydrophyte communities with Nymphaea, Nuphar, Utricularia and Stratiotes: More or less closed communities of large, rooted aquatic plants with decorative generative organs above the water level.
A3a – Communities of slowly running waters with Potamogeton and Nymphoides: Perennial, pioneer communities that tolerate different moving conditions of the water, with submerged and emerged shoots.
A4 – Euhydrophyte communities of fens: Floating or shallow rooted aquatic communities of dystrophic and oligotrophic waters. This thermophilous habitat is composed mainly by Hottonia and Aldrovanda.
A5 – Athalassal saline euhydrophyte communities: Species poor vegetation of small, rooted, floating (Ranunculus/Batrachium) or submerged (Zannichellia, Potamogeton, Chara) aquatic weeds in saline lakes.
B1a – Eu- and mesotrophic reed and Typha beds: High, rooted, dense vegetation of waters and water fringes without the formation of peat. Phragmites australis, Typha latifolia and T. angustifolia compose the habitat, as a monodominant species or in mixed stands. The semi-natural sites are inundated at least seasonally during the vegetation period.
B1b – Oligotrophic reed and Typha beds of fens, floating fens: Swimming (floating) and terrestrial fens of high-growing waterside herbs with rhizome. The habitat includes 1) herbaceous plant dominated communities, developed on the surface of neutral or dystrophic waters, 2) their descendants rooted to the bed, 3) communities that originally stand in shallow water and form rooted fens of reed and Cladium on peat soils. Among the floating forms, those fens belong to this group that develop on mesotrophic and eutrophic waters, and are dominated by Phragmites australis, Typha angustifolia, Typha latifolia, Carex spp., Cladium mariscus and Thelypteris palustris.
B2 – Glyceria, Sparganium and Schoenoplectus beds: These pioneer communities prefer shallow water and much sunlight, and can turn into reed beds or sedge communities on the long-run (during years or decades). Characteristic and dominant species are: Glyceria maxima, Sparganium erectum, Phalaroides arundinacea, Glyceria notata, Sagittaria sagittifolia, Leersia oryzoides, Acorus calamus. The monodominant floating mats of Berula erecta and Glyceria maxima also belong to this habitat.
B3 – Water-fringing helophyte beds with Butomus, Eleocharis and Alisma: This freshwater habitat is dominated by small, mainly less competitive marsh plants e.g. Butomus umbellatus, Alisma species, Eleocharis species. Due to their habitat conditions, the Oenanthe aquatica marshes as well as the not saline stands of Bolboschoenus maritimus also belong to this habitat type.
B4 – Tussock sedge communities: Communities developed on sites at least seasonally covered by water and with medium nutrient supply. The vegetation growth generates a prominently undulating surface, which is a characteristic feature of these communities (the tussock-fen window mosaics). Peat formation is typical. The following species form dominantly the tussocks: Calamagrostis canescens, C. neglecta, Carex appropinquata, C. elata, C. lasiocarpa, C. paniculata, C. pseudocyperus, C. rostrata, Juncus maritimus, very rarely Carex buxbaumii, C. elongata.
B5 – Non-tussock beds of large sedges: Grassy communities developing on nutrient rich sites that are at least seasonally covered by water. The plant growth leads only exceptionally to prominent inequality of the vegetation surface. Normally there is no peat formation. Dominant species can be: Carex acuta (=C. gracilis), C. acutiformis, C. disticha, C. melanostachya, C. otrubae (=C. cuprina), C. riparia, C. vesicaria, C. vulpina.
B6 – Salt marshes: Marshes that are covered by saline water in the major part of the vegetation period (occasionally year-round). The dominant species are: Bolboschoenus maritimus, Scirpus lacustris subsp. tabernaemontani, Eleocharis uniglumis, Scirpus litoralis, occasionally Phragmites australis. A typically wet habitat that requires continental climate.
BA – Fine-scale mosaic or zonation of marsh communities of channels, ditches and artificial lakes: Marshes of channels for irrigation and for draining inland waters, artificially canalized streams, streamlets and artificial standing waters (fish ponds, reservoirs, mine pits, irrigation pits). This habitat includes both the waterside marsh vegetation (reed, sedge, Alisma, Glyceria etc. beds) and the aquatic vegetation, respectively. It can have marshy, fen and saline character.
C1 – Soft and hard water flushes: This habitat (dominated by mosses and a few vascular plants) appears around springs under cool, humid environment.
C23 – Transition mires and raised bogs: Mainly treeless habitats with Sphagnum dominance in the moss layer, with the formation of peat, and with nutrient-poor acidic soil and water. Sphagnum mosses dominate, which form huge carpets, or occur between different sedges (occasionally between reed or Typha).
D1 – Rich fens (Caricion davallianae): Developing on basic rich, mainly calcareous, constantly wet soils, rich fen meadows usually have a shortgrass, sometimes tussocky character. Soil water surface is close to the soil all year round (in tussocky stands periodically can be higher). The dominant species are: Carex davalliana, C. lasiocarpa, Eriophorum angustifolium, E. latifolium, Juncus subnodulosus, Menyanthes trifoliata, Schoenus nigricans, Sesleria uliginosa (S. caerulea).
D2 – Molinia meadows: Wet meadows with the dominance of Molinia species. Regularly the groundwater does not reach the ground surface. The soil is typically rich in humus or peat. Molinia hungarica or Molinia arundinacea is the dominant of the habitat. Due to its site demands, Molinia meadows occur on the sand regions and foothills with upwelling water, as well as in forest-climate regions with stagnant water.
D34 – Mesotrophic wet meadows: Meadows consisted of tall grasses and poor in halophytic species. The habitat can be found on soils that are mesic during most of the vegetation period (often has spring water cover, but dries out for summer) without peat formation. At the first place it can be recognized from the dominant grass species (Agrostis alba, Alopecurus pratensis, Deschampsia caespitosa, Festuca arundinacea, F. pratensis, Poa pratensis, P. trivialis, Phalaroides arundinacea), although some of them can also dominate other habitats. Beside these species a considerable amount of meadow forbs is typical.
D5 – Tall herb communities of creeks and fens: Occurs mainly in mountain and colline, rarely in lowland environment and is connected to humid, often cool climate, and to constant and fresh, usually moving water supply or more infrequently to fens. Tall forbs with dense foliage and large leaf surface (Petasites hybridus, Angelica sylvestris, Cirsium oleraceum, Filipendula ulmaria) dominate this wet, often fringe habitat.
D6 – Tall herb communities of floodplains and marshes: Habitat dominated by tall forbs (characteristic species: Tanacetum vulgare, Althaea officinalis, Lythrum salicaria, Lythrum virgatum, Lysimachia vulgaris, Pastinaca sativa, Glycyrrhiza echinata, Atriplex sagittata, Artemisia vulgaris, Rumex crispus).
E1 – Arrhenatherum hay meadows: Mesic meadows of nutrient rich soils developed in areas of colline and submontane valleys, terraces, basins, high floodplains. The dominant tall grass species of the habitat (Arrhenatherum elatius, Dactylis glomerata, Phleum pratense, Holcus lanatus, Trisetum flavescens, Poa pratensis) are completed by a legion of meadow species.
E2 – Festuca rubra hay meadows: This low or medium high, mesic montane meadow can be characterized by Festuca rubra, Cynosurus cristatus, Lolium perenne, Agrostis capillaris, Festuca pratensis as dominant species. It occurs both on calcareous and silicate rock.
E34 – Cynosurion grasslands and Nardus swards: These grasslands (occurring in humid collin-submontane regions on nutrient-poor, acid soils) developed due to the cutting and grazing of former forests. This acidofrequent grass vegetation is dominated by acidofrequent-mycotrophic, low or medium-tall grasses with good sprouting ability; Agrostis capillaris, Festuca rubra agg. F. nigrescens, Sieglingia (Danthonia) decumbens, Festuca ovina, F. filiformis, Nardus stricta.
E5 – Calluna heaths are dominated mainly by Calluna vulgaris, chamaephytes and hemiphanerophytes are common. The tree- and the high shrub layer are made up from scant dwarf tree individuals and shrubs (the canopy closure is maximum 40%). As a secondary vegetation, it occurs in small islands of places of intensive land-use, on eroded, very acid soils, and in humid, cool climate.
F1a – Artemisia salt steppes: Only periodically and slightly wet dry grasslands, dominated by Festuca pseudovina and Artemisia santonicum as the most frequent codominant species. Large stands (puszta) are typical. They are usually rich in halophytic species, but do not, or rarely contain loess steppe and wet meadow species.
F1b – Achillea steppes on meadow solonetz soils: Low or high, species poor habitat, generally dominated by Festuca pseudovina and Achillea species (A. setacea and A. collina) and other pseudohalophytic species, dry grassland species and meadow generalist species (usually poor in Achillea asplenifolia and stenohalophytic species).
F2 – Salt meadows: Tall grass meadows that have seasonal water cover at the beginning of the vegetation period and developed on solonetz or solontsak meadow soils. Characteristic grass species: Agrostis stolonifera, Alopecurus pratensis, Beckmannia eruciformis, Glyceria fluitans subsp. poiformis, Alopecurus geniculatus, Festuca arundinacea, Elymus repens. Characteristic other monocotyledons: Carex distans, C. melanostachya, Juncus gerardii. The dominant monocots are accompanied by the dicots that are typical in saline habitats.
F3 – Tall herb salt meadows and salt meadow steppes: These meadows are characteristically wet in springtime and dry in summer, codominated by halophytes, fen meadow and loess steppe species, and occur mainly on Tiszántúl. Their structure is determined by tall herbs and umbellifers, with Aster punctatus, Artemisia pontica and Peucedanum officinale as the most frequent character species. The wet variants are tall grass meadows rich in character species and species of tall herb meadow steppes, the drier ones are short grass habitats which show transition towards the Achillea steppes (F1b).
F4 – Dense and tall Puccinellia swards: Grasslands with meadow character, the cover of perennial plants is higher then 50%. This habitat develops on strongly saline soils, and usually has water cover for a longer period in the year (wet in springtime but sometimes completely dry in summer or just the opposite: flooded by summer thunderstorms). Dominant species are: Puccinellia limosa, P. festuciformis subsp. intermedia, Carex divisa. The differentiation from the next (F5) habitat is often arbitrary (the proportion of perennial plants is minimum 50% in case of F4).
F5 – Annual salt pioneer swards of steppes and lakes: 1) Annual halophytic vegetation in muddy lake beds of saline lakes and 2) vegetation of annual and perennial plants of usually small alkali mud surfaces (so-called: vakszik, szikfok, szikér). Characteristic, common and dominant species: Crypsis aculeata, C. alopecuroides, C. schoenoides, Suaeda pannonica, Cyperus pannonicus, Salicornia prostrata, Chenopodium chenopodioides, Ch. glaucum, Spergularia media, S. salina, Atriplex litoralis, Salsola soda, as well as Lepidium crassifolium, Plantago maritima, P. tenuiflora, Aster tripolium subsp. pannonicus, Camphorosma annua, Bassia sedoides, Pholiurus pannonicus, Puccinellia limosa.
G1 – Open sand steppes: Drought-tolerant low grasslands with maximum 75% cover, occupying loose, humus poor sand soils on Alföld and more infrequently on hilly regions or foothills. Dominant species are drought-tolerant grasses that form tussocks. Formerly their stands formed mosaics with sand steppe oak woodlands or poplar-juniper steppe woodlands.
G2 – Calcareous open rocky grasslands: Developed on dry, warm southern slopes of the Dunántúli- and Északi-középhegység, they occur on calcareous rocks (limestone, dolomite, calcareous sandstone). Open, short-grass [5-30 (50) cm], occasionally pioneer grasslands. The most important dominant grasses are Festuca pallens and Stipa species, sometimes Carex humilis. Vegetation of screes, cliffs and fissures of sunny, southern, calcareous rocks also belongs to this habitat type.
G3 – Siliceous open rocky grasslands: Habitat on outcrops, cliffs and open screes of silicate rocks (for example andesite, basalt, rhyolite, granite, etc.), occurring usually on dry, sunny, windy slopes. It is a “pioneer”, open, or poorly closed natural habitat (the cover of the grass layer is < 50%), practically a semi-desert. The extreme abiotic conditions do not assist the mass spread of perennial grass species, or the development of closed grasslands. Already 4 m2 of rock surface is sufficient for the collective appearance of the characteristic species.
H1 – Closed rocky grasslands, species rich Bromus pannonicus grasslands: Closed, semi-dry grasslands in collin-submontane areas, occurring on rocky, shallow soil, dominated mainly by Sesleria species and/or by Bromus pannonicus. This habitat with its special species pool is connected to dolomite or limestone, and occurs on the upper third part of steep, rocky slopes.
H2 – Calcareous rocky steppes: Dry steppes on southern slopes of submontane and colline regions, always on solid, calcareous bedrock, dolomite, or on not karstifiable limestones (chalk, mainly Cretaceous, Eocene, and Lajta, Sarmatian limestones, marlstone with Briozoa, travertine, but also others). In fact, they are mosaic habitats composed of patches of open rock grasslands and closed steppes. The stands can be characterised by the joint dominance of species of rocks and steppes.
H3a – Slope steppes on stony ground: Closed, medium high, species rich, dry steppes, dominated by grasses with narrow leaves. The habitat is almost treeless and is bound to solid (calcareous or silicate) bedrock. The minimal cover of the grass layer is 50%. Most important dominant grass species: Festuca rupicola, F. valesiaca, F. pseudodalmatica, Bromus inermis, Stipa spp. Despite their shallow stony soil, the real species connecting to rocks and rocky soils are missing, or they are rare.
H4 – Bromus erectus-Brachypodium pinnatum xero-mesic grasslands, dry tall herb communities and forest steppe meadows: Xero-mesic clearings, grasslands, sometimes tall herb communities belong to this habitat type with variable origin and species pool. These grasslands are dominated mainly by broad-leaved grasses, such as Bromus erectus and Brachypodium pinnatum, more infrequently Arrhenatherum elatius, Bromus pannonicus, Stipa tirsa, Sieglingia (Danthonia) alpina. This habitat is rich in species, also in forbs, and holds forest remnant forest species.
H5a – Closed steppes on loess, clay, tufa: Closed steppes of usually humus rich soils developed especially on plain and foothill loess, secondly on all solid bedrock except sand. Mainly Festuca rupicola, often Bromus inermis, Elymus hispidus, Stipa species and Bothriochloa ischaemum are their dominant grass species.
H5b – Closed sand steppes: Closed dry grasslands of humus rich soils developed on sand bedrock of the plains. Minimal cover of the herb layer is 50%. Dominant grass species are mainly Festuca wagneri, F. rupicola, Chrysopogon gryllus, Stipa capillata, Poa angustifolia, Bothriochloa ischaemum.
I1 – Amphibious communities on river gravel and sand banks: Pioneer, low, mainly annual vegetation of Nanocyperion species. It grows on bare surfaces along rivers and on floodplains, sometimes in marshes and waterlogged depressions. It can occur on rice fields and in wet years also on arable fields. The extension of the stands is often smaller then 1 m2. Their species are not ruderal, numerous nationally rare, protected and endangered species can be found on these sites (e.g. Astragalus contortuplicatus, Carex bohemica, Elatine spp., Lindernia procumbens). Other typical species are: Cyperus and Juncus species, Limosella aquatica, Eleocharis acicularis and E. ovata, Gnaphalium uliginosum, Heliotropium supinum, Schoenoplectus supinus or Verbena supina.
I2 – Semi-desert vegetation on loess cliffs: Open pioneer vegetation of loess/clay cliffs, and steep loess slopes mostly with Bassia prostrata and/or Agropyron pectiniforme. Stands on kurgans also belong to this habitat type.
I4 – Open vegetation of shadowed rocks: These, characteristically open, mesic, pioneer communities – often with well-developed moss layer – occur on shadowed rock outcrops, rock cliffs, screes, periglacial block streams (usually facing to the north). The abiotic parameters and the lack of the soil do not offer suitable conditions for the mass spread of perennial grass, shrub, and tree species, and in this way neither to the evolution of rock grasslands, thickets and forests.
OA – Uncharacteristic wetlands: Uncharacteristic, degraded, wet or drying wetlands of diverse origin that can not be categorized to any semi-natural habitat type. Presence of woody vegetation is minimal. The weedy, secondary wet tall herb communities also belong to this group; as the uncharacteristic marshy communities in oxbows, river beds; the wetter variants of ruderal and semi-ruderal vegetation of floodplains and marshes; and also the secondary marshes, reed beds, club-rush communities of temporarily flooded arable fields.
OB – Uncharacteristic mesic meadows and tall herb communities: Uncharacteristic meadows and tall herb communities that can not be categorized to any semi-natural habitat type. The cause of their uncharacteristic nature and the origin of their site can be diverse. For example, the ruderal and semi-ruderal weed communities of floodplains and marshes; the liana and Rubus communities of floodplains; the secondary tall herb communities (dominated by Tanacetum vulgare, and Cirsium, Chenopodium, Atriplex, Polygonum, Bidens, Rumex and Xanthium species) and uncharacteristic mesic meadows (dominated by Alopecurus, Dactylis, Agrostis, Agropyron species) on the floodplains; as well as the abandoned and weedy mesic pastures; the formerly chemically fertilized or resown regenerating hay meadows; and uncharacteristic wet Calamagrostis meadows belong to this group.
OC – Uncharacteristic dry/semi-dry grasslands and tall herb communities: Uncharacteristic dry and semi-dry grasslands and tall herb communities that can not be categorized to any semi-natural habitat type. The cause of their uncharacteristic nature and the origin of their site can be diverse. For example, regenerating grasslands of abandoned arable fields, vineyards and orchards; drier pastures and hay meadows that have become uncharacteristic or weedy because of former management, fertilization, overgrazing, incorrect mowing, etc; dry grasslands of dikes and road verges; regenerating sowed dry grasslands; certain kurgans; grassy channels that completely dried out long ago; dry Calamagrostis and terrestrial reed stands invading dry grasslands; disturbed dry grasslands around settlements; patches of pastures dominated by thorny weeds; low, species poor, Cynodon dominated grasslands; and the abandoned football grounds and golf courses belong to this habitat type.
J1a – Willow mire shrubs: Developed in endorheic areas (areas lacking surface drainage) and in old oxbow lakes dominated by shrubs (generally Salix cinerea), growing on soils with different peat content.
J3 – Riverine willow shrubs: High-growing shrub habitats on river bars and riverbanks, occasionally on the fringes of oxbow lakes. The shrubs are usually Salix species (S. purpurea, S. triandra, S. viminalis, S. fragilis, S. alba). Since this pioneer habitat develops specifically on riverbanks, it is connected to the greater rivers.
M6 – Continental deciduous steppe thickets: Small thicket patches in grasslands, or fringe habitats at the edge of xerotherm forests, usually on deep soils. Height of vegetation is around 1m, closure is 50% at least. Dominant species are: Amygdalus nana (Prunus tenella), Cerasus (Prunus) fruticosa and Rosa species (R. gallica, R. pimpinellifolia).
M7 – Continental deciduous rocky thickets: Low-growing (0.3-2 m) edaphic thickets, developed on solid bedrock, with 50% minimal closure. Rocky thickets are submontane habitats connected to rock outcrops and to rocky, shallow soils. Rare shrub species growing on rocks (Spiraea media, Cotoneaster species, Amelanchier ovalis) constitute this rare habitat that occurs always in small stands.
M8 – Thermophilous woodland fringes: A complex habitat; a community of the fringes of dry and semi-dry forests and thickets, and the connecting steppes. Xerofrequent and mesofrequent herbs are equally typical. The concentrated presence of the so-called forest steppe species, e.g. Geranium sanguineum, Iris variegata, Dictamnus albus, Trifolium species) is also characteristic. The maximal closure of the shrubs remains under 60%. Thermophilous woodland fringes usually develop as real fringes, but occasionally can also form larger patches independent from the forest.
P2a – Mesic shrub vegetation: A group of generally secondary shrub habitats of wet or mesic areas (except riverine willow scrubs and willow mire woodlands). They develop usually on wet meadows, or by the systematic coppicing or clear-cutting of mesic forests. According to the criteria of the habitat, the closure of the shrub vegetation is 50% at least, and within this, the ratio of trees should remain under 50%.
P2b – Dry shrub vegetation with Crataegus monogyna, Prunus spinosa and Juniperus communis: Mostly secondary shrublands or shrubland-grassland mosaics of dry and warm areas, dominated by Crataegus monogyna and/or Prunus spinosa, more infrequently by Juniperus communis. The closure of the shrub vegetation reaches 50%, and within this, the ratio of trees is under 50%.
J1b – Birch mire woodlands: Mire woodlands dominated by scattered birch trees (closure 40-80%). The typically small stands occur in closed drainage basins and old oxbow lakes with stagnant water. Soil water is high (reaching the surface), the soil is peat, or peaty with ongoing peat formation. Mire and marsh species are usual, sedges are dominant in the herb layer, and the moss cover is significant.
J2 – Alder and ash swamp woodlands: Forest dominated by Alnus glutinosa or partly by Fraxinus angustifolia subsp. pannonica on peat or peaty soils. This habitat is rich in mire species (e.g. Thelypteris, Carex elata) and is usually waterlogged also in summer. Their water is constantly stagnant, or moving slightly only in rainier periods (marsh forests). Dried-out and drying stands with changed water supply also belong to this habitat type. In contrast to riverine ash-alder woodlands they are poor in species of oak-hornbeam and beech forests.
J4 – Riverine willow-poplar woodlands: Growing on the lower parts of floodplains, these hygrophilous, Salix and Populus dominated forests presently still get regular flooding.
J5 – Riverine ash-alder woodlands: Mesic-hygrophilous forests, developed in stream valleys and basins of submontane and colline regions. Alnus glutinosa is usually the dominant species of the tree layer (if not, it is almost always present). The shrub and the herb layers contain mesic deciduous forest and riverine forest elements alike, and the geophyte vegetation is often well-developed. The minimal width of the habitat should be two tree lines on both part of the stream. Thinner belts belong to this habitat only if the herb layer significantly differs from the surroundings, presumably mesic forest, or the line of alders remained in a deforested landscape.
J6 – Riverine oak-elm-ash woodlands: High-growing forests occurring on the higher parts of actual or former floodplains in the lowlands, wide valleys of colline regions, and on foothills. Beside Quercus robur, Fraxinus angustifolia subsp. pannonica (or F. excelsior) several mesic and riverine forest species constitute the tree layer. The shrub layer is generally well-developed, the herb layer is dominated by species of mesic deciduous and riverine forests.
K1a – Lowland pedunculate oak - hornbeam woodlands: Shadowed and mesic forests of lowlands and hilly regions, with Quercus robur and Carpinus betulus dominance in the tree layer. The herb layer is composed of general and mesic forest species, and usually the geophyte vegetation is well-developed in early spring.
K2 – Sessile oak - hornbeam woodlands: Montane and colline, mesic, mixed forests usually on deep soils, dominated by Quercus petraea, hornbeam and/or beech. In the tree layer Tilia species may appear with high, Acer species and Fraxinus excelsior with lower ratio. The forest is characteristically shadowed, but sunny patches are usual also (their ratio is highly variable). The shrub layer is usually not dense. Most common species of the herb layer are the general and the mesic forest species.
K5 – Beech woodlands: High-growing (in mature state 20–35 m high), closed (canopy closure: 80–100%), mesic forests, with beech monodominance (> 60%), and with species of mesic forests in the herb layer.
K7a – Acidofrequent beech woodlands: Low or medium-high growing, closed forests growing in the beech zone, on extremely acid, mainly shallow soils. The tree layer is dominated by beech, the shrub layer is absent, the herb layer is composed of acidofrequent forest species [Luzula luzuloides, Deschampsia (Avenella) flexuosa, Vaccinium myrtillus, etc.], and the moss layer is occasionally significant.
K7b – Acidofrequent oak-hornbeam woodlands: Submontane and colline, medium-high growing, frequently secondary forests, developed on acid bedrock and on eroded forest soils. They can be characterized with closed canopy layer, with the lack of shrub layer, and with the dominance of Quercus petraea, hornbeam and/or beech in the tree layer. The herb layer is composed of acidofrequent species [Luzula luzuloides, Deschampsia (Avenella) flexuosa, Vaccinium myrtillus, etc.], and by species of mesic deciduous forests in smaller amount.
L1 – Closed termophilous downy oak woodlands: Low or medium-high growing, closed, submontane and colline oak forests with dense shrub layer and with well-developed herb layer. The soil is generally shallow and/or rocky, the most dominant species of the canopy layer is the downy oak (Quercus pubescens s.l.). High shrub layer (Cornus mas, Crataegus monogyna) or a second canopy layer made up of young trees (Fraxinus ornus) is common. Mass species of the herb layer are grasses and sedges. Thermophilous and light-demanding species are typical, and many of them are also drought-tolerant.
L2a – Turkey oak - sessile oak woodlands: This habitat type is a group of forests occurring in submontane and colline regions with variable mixture ratio of Quercus cerris and Q. petraea. In the tree layer shadowing trees (mainly Fagus sylvatica and Carpinus betulus) are absent or very rare. Light-demanding and drought-tolerant, forest specialist species are always present in the herb layer. Nor mesic forest species neither disturbance tolerant species can monodominate, whilst grasses and sedges are common.
L2b – Turkey oak - pedunculate oak woodlands: Mixed forests dominated by Quercus cerris and/or Q. robur occurring on humid lowlands and on low, flat hilly regions. Q. petraea, and sporadically hornbeam can also be present. The water-supply is highly variable (periodically wet or dry); and this edaphic feature leads to oak dominance. Turkey oak - pedunculate oak woodlands are strongly connected to the relatively high and even precipitation, as well as to the soils of extreme water regime, developed on sand, clay, and clay/argillaceous gravel.
L2x – Closed and mixed steppe oak woodlands on foothills: Developed in dry climate and mainly on loess or on other similar sediments, these forests usually grow on the foothills of the oak woodland zone, or at the edge of Alföld. This is a mixed oak forest of Quercus pubescens, Q. robur, Q. cerris and/or Q. petraea, but usually at least two other species are present, such as: Fraxinus excelsior, F. angustifolia subsp. pannonica and/or F. ornus, Acer campestre, A. tataricum, Tilia cordata, T. platyphyllos. The shrub layer is high and dense, often with a second layer of infilled young trees. Species of mesic, dry and/or light forests compose the herb layer, moreover, species of dry grasslands can also occur. According to its attributes, this habitat type is situated between the loess steppe oak woodlands (M2), the turkey oak woodlands (L2a), the oak-hornbeam woodlands (K1a) and/or the closed termophilous oak woodlands (L1).
L4a – Closed acidofrequent oak woodlands: Low or medium high growing, closed forests in the oak and beech zone, developed on extremely acid soils. Submontane habitat type, connected to acid bedrock (andesite, rhyolite, granite, acid sandstones, shales) and to shallow, dry soils, occurring mainly on south slopes. The dominant tree species is Quercus petraea, the shrub layer is missing, the herb layer is characterised by acidofrequent forest species [Luzula luzuloides, Deschampsia (Avenella) flexuosa, Vaccinium myrtillus, etc.], the moss layer can be significant.
L4b – Open acidofrequent oak woodlands: These low-growing forests occur mainly in the submontane oak zone, on extremely acid bedrock and on eroded, shallow, mainly rocky lithosoils. The stands are opened (the maximal closure is 60-70%), which gives a shrub woodland character for the habitat. Quercus petraea is the dominant tree species, the herb layer is composed of species of acidofrequent deciduous forests, and of oak woodlands, those of certain rock grasslands and rock forests, and species of the dry, acidofrequent grasslands. The cover of the cryptogams (mosses, lichens) on the forest floor can be high, and rock outcrops are typical. This rare habitat occurs always in small patches.
L5 – Closed lowland steppe oak woodlands: Mesic and semi-dry forests (closed sand steppe oak woodlands, closed salt steppe oak woodlands, dried-out riverine oak-elm-ash forests) dominated by Quercus robur, infrequently by Fraxinus angustifolia subsp. pannonica. Sand or clayish-loamy sediments (sometimes salty in deeper soil layers) are the typical bedrocks of the habitat in the not flooded, drier, inner parts of Alföld. These woodlands partly originate from riverine oak-elm-ash forests (or from other closed lowland wet forests), but have already lost their riverine character. This is manifested especially in the herb layer; the real riverine forest species are uncommon or missing, and are replaced by forest generalists. In the more characteristic stands mesic and dry forest elements are both present. Closed lowland steppe oak woodlands infrequently occur also on foothills (on sand).
LY1 – Forests of ravines (mesic rocky forests rich in Acer pseudoplatanus): Forests of ravines are submontane, rocky habitats with rock streams, connected to cool, humid climate, occur generally on limestone in Hungary, on steep slopes of rock debris (or in the bottom of the valleys), with leaking water and rock outcrops. Fraxinus excelsior, Acer platanoides, A. pseudoplatanus are the most characteristic tree species of this high-growing (20-30 m) forest. Beech, Ulmus and Tilia species are frequent associate species.
LY2 – Mixed forests of slopes and screes: These mesic or semi-dry submontane habitats develop on steep, detrital, rocky slopes and screes, occurring on calcareous and silicate bedrock alike, but preferring the former one. Tilia species are prevalent, mixed with Fraxinus and Acer species, sometimes with beech and/or Quercus petraea. Nitrophytes are typical in the herb layer.
LY3 – Limestone beech forests: They grow on the rocky, stony and/or detrital, often steep dolomite and limestone areas of the Északi- and Dunántúli-középhegység. Beech, or infrequently Tilia species and Acer pseudoplatanus dominate these forests. The joint mixture ratio of these trees is 50% at least. Presence of Sorbus species and the almost total absence of Fraxinus excelsior is characteristic. Limestone beech forests can be a completely closed forest, as well as mosaics of forest and grassland patches. The herb layer often holds relic species connected to cliffs and stony ground (e.g. Sesleria species, Carex alba, Calamagrostis varia, Valeriana tripteris, Moehringia muscosa, Phyteuma orbiculare). Nitrophyte and disturbance tolerant species are almost missing.
LY4 – Mixed relic oak forests on rocks: Group of mixed oak forests that occur on rocky, stony and/or detrital ridges, on hilltops, on convex terrain forms, in areas around the hilltops, or more infrequently on slopes in the Dunántúli- and Északi-középhegység. Fraxinus excelsior, Tilia and Acer species, Quercus petraea and/or Q. pubescens are the most characteristic tree species of this habitat type. Dominant species of the frequently high shrub layer is Cornus mas, whilst Cotoneaster species, Spirea media can also be prevalent in other stands. The herb layer is usually dense, and diverse in species. The presence of nitrophytes and spring geophytes characterize certain types of the habitat (Tilio-Fraxinetum). In other types, species of dry grasslands and light-demanding forests dominate the herb layer, where species of rocky forests also occur.
M1 – Downy oak scrub woodlands: Colline-submontane mosaic habitats of low-growing or dwarf forests and dry grasslands. Quercus pubescens is the most prevalent species of the tree layer in forest patches. The shrub layer is generally well-developed and not sharply separated from the tree layer. This habitat occurs exclusively with dry and rocky grasslands. Minimal proportion of the tree clusters in the mosaic is 33%.
M2 – Open loess steppe oak woodlands with openings: Low or medium-high growing oak forests on lowlands, foothills, and in the hilly regions with usually dense shrub layer and with forest and steppe species in the herb layer. The habitat is a mosaic of open forest and loess steppes, semi-dry grasslands, steppe thickets and/or scrub vegetation of Prunus spinosa and Crataegus monogyna.
M3 – Open salt steppe oak woodlands with openings: Open Quercus robur woodlands that are lower than 15 m and form mosaics with tall herb meadow steppes, halophytic communities, loess steppes and reed beds. Forest elements are mixed with steppe and halophyte species. Characteristic species: Quercus robur, Acer tataricum, Pulmonaria mollis, Doronicum hungaricum, Melica altissima, and Peucedanum officinale, Aster punctatus, A. linosyris, Artemisia pontica on the fringes.
M4 – Open sand steppe oak woodlands with openings: Quercus robur dominated steppe forests of lowland sand regions, appearing in smaller tree groups or in greater stands. They usually form mosaic with dry grasslands. The density of the shrub layer is varying; generally high and closed, while at other sites it forms mosaics with open grasslands. Festuca rupicola and Poa angustifolia are common species of the herb layer.
M5 – Poplar-juniper steppe woodlands: Shrublands or forests dominated by Juniperus communis and/or by Populus alba and P. canescens on the sand regions of Alföld. This species poor, open habitat is typically poor in forest species and forms a mosaic with open sand steppes. Minimal closure of the tree layer is 20%.
N13 – Acidofrequent coniferous forests: Forests developed on the acidic, gravel, often pseudogley soils. Pinus sylvestris and Picea abies dominate the tree layer, with variable mixture ratio of deciduous trees. The herb layer is rich in acidofrequent species and the moss layer is dense. The former land-use is crucial in the evolution of these forests (traditional small-scale forest management, where forests and arable lands were rotated).
N2 – Calcareous Scots pine forests: Open relic calcareous Pinus sylvestris forests with calcifrequent herb layer are connected to the calcareous bedrock (sand, sandstone, limestone phyllite) and to the locally drier habitats in a relatively wet climate.
P45 – Wooded pastures and sweet chestnut forests: Forest-grassland mosaics formed by human land use (coppicing, grazing and/or mowing). The original or planted woody vegetation forms characteristic landscapes. The trees are free standing; they branch often close to the ground, with thick boughs, their crowns and the diameter of the trunks are huge. The trees, at least partly, are old, with a minimum of 30-40 cm diameter, but sometimes the thickness of the trunk can reach 1 m.
P7 – Extensive orchards with ancient cultivars (often invaded by shrubs and trees): The age-, species- and cultivar-composition of the stands is highly variable. Due to the traditional, extensive cultivation, they are managed without artificial irrigation, soil management and chemical control. The natural shrub layer between the scattered trees is usually sporadic or infrequently missing, but after the abandonment of the orchard often dense shrub layer develops. Extensive mowing and grazing maintains the semi-natural herb layer that can became scarce in the abandoned stands.
RA – Scattered native trees or narrow tree lines: Groups of scattered native trees (willows, oaks etc., occasionally fruit trees, walnut, Populus nigra var. italica) on grasslands and in marshes; or narrow tree lines and forest belts (1-2 tree width). The tree group should have at least 5 tree individuals, with a minimum diameter of 25 cm at breast height.
RB – Uncharacteristic (often pioneer) softwood forests and plantations: Softwood forests of native trees that mainly have poor herb layer and can not be classified to another natural habitat type [from J to N]. Plantations and spontaneous forest stands equally belong to this habitat type. Most often Salix and Populus species, Alnus glutinosa and Betula pendula consist these woodlands, furthermore Pinus sylvestris on the western edge of the country. Minimal closure of the woodland is 33%, and maximal proportion of hardwoods is 50%.
RC – Uncharacteristic hardwood forests and plantations: Forests dominated generally by only one native hardwood tree species. They have poor herb layer and their classification to another natural habitat type [from J to N] is problematic. Plantations on arable fields, on grasslands, and on the place of former (semi-)natural forests consist generally this group, but infrequently spontaneous woodlands or forests of uncertain origin on grasslands and on old-fields also belong to this habitat type. Most frequent dominating tree species are Quercus cerris and Q. robur, Fraxinus excelsior and F. angustifolia subsp. pannonica.
RD – Uncharacteristic forests and plantations mixed with non-native tree species. Planted or spontaneous forests with 50–75% mixture ratio of non-native trees.