EUNIS forest and woodland habitat revision - consultation

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I am pleased to inform you that a proposed revision of the forest part of the EUNIS habitats classification, levels 1-3, is now available for your review up until 1 July 2016.

The EUNIS habitat classification is widely used and has been adopted as one of the reference code lists of the INSPIRE Directive Annex III, Habitats and Biotopes. However the current classification mostly dates from 2004 (Davies, Moss & Hill, 2004) with only a few small changes since then and there have been frequent demands for an update to take into account our increasing knowledge and experience in using the classification.

A meeting in Copenhagen in October 2011 agreed that a revision of the classification was required. Following a workshop held at the European Environment Agency in December 2013 a proposed revision of the marine section (section A) was the subject of an EIONET consultation in summer 2015. At the same time work was started on the forest and later the heath sections of the classification (sections G and F).

The revision of forest habitats was aided by a revised crosswalk to syntaxa (plant communities) produced by the European Vegetation Survey (a working group of the International Association of Vegetation Science) linking EUNIS level 3 habitats to the EuroVeg Checklist (Mucina et al in press). Details of the review process, together with information (including species composition) on the proposed forest habitat types can be found in a recently published technical report from the EEA on ‘Linking in situ vegetation data to the EUNIS habitat classification: results for forest habitats’. The revision also takes into account the EEA European Forest Types and the work by the European Commission funded project to produce a red list of European habitats. 

As a forest and woodland habitat expert, you now are invited to participate in this online consultation.

The revised classification is given in a table attached below. It is a spreadsheet showing changes from the old classifications, together with descriptions and species composition is also available. The revision only concerns levels 1 to 3, if accepted, units at levels 4, 5 and 6 will be recoded as necessary.

The proposed revision is being consulted with FAO, EFI, Forest Europe, UNECE and the Bern Convention among others. NRC biodiversity data and information and the NRC biodiversity and ecosystems, indicators, and assessment networks are also invited. Should a colleague be better placed to respond to the consultation, you are welcome to forward this email.

We will only be able to process comments provided online, please restrict your comments to levels 2 to 3. No codes have been given to the proposed classes at this point, these will be added later.

We would also like you to briefly reflect on the use of woodland versus forest in the EUNIS classification and its compatibility with the reference definition of forest.

If you have any questions regarding the consultation, please do not hesitate to get in contact with Annemarie Bastrup-Birk ( copying Mette Lund ( and Doug Evans (

Please be aware that in parallel a consultation on the revision of the EUNIS heathland, scrub and tundra habitats is running. Your comments are welcome if this section of the EUNIS habitat classification has your interest.

Files attached to this consultation
Section Comments
Coastal dunes and sandy shores 5
Broadleaved deciduous woodland 8
Broadleaved evergreen woodland 1
Coniferous woodland 5
Lines of trees, small anthropogenic woodlands, recently felled woodland, early-stage woodland and coppice 0