EUNIS grassland habitat revision - consultation

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A PROPOSED REVISION OF THE GRASSLANDS SECTION OF THE EUNIS HABITATS CLASSIFICATION

We are pleased to inform you that a proposed revision of the grasslands section of the EUNIS habitats classification, levels 1-3, is now available for review up until 11 September 2017.

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). 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 and consultation for the forest and heath sections of the classification (sections G and F) followed in 2016. Based on the comments from consultation, the revision of forests, heathland, scrub and tundra classification has now been finalised and will become available from the EEA website.

The revision of grassland 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 2016). Details of the review process, together with information (including species composition) on the proposed grassland habitat types can be found in reports from the EVS. The revision also takes into account the European Red List of habitats (Janssen et al 2016). The work from EVS and Red List were highly aligned but minor differences appear. The proposed names of the habitats in the consultation table follow the European Red List nomenclature for better linking of both products. Coastal grasslands are not included in the consultation table and will undergo consultation together with the remaining coastal habitats.  

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

The revised classification is given in tables attached below. 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 allocated to the appropriate level 3 unit and recoded.

The EEA is consulting with a range of stakeholders and users of the classification. NRC biodiversity data and information and the NRC biodiversity and ecosystems, indicators and assessments are also invited to participate. Should a colleague be better placed to respond to the consultation, you are welcome to forward this e-mail. People that have not received a direct invitation to participate to the consultation are welcome to do it but are kindly asked to communicate first with EEA in order to receive a personalized link. 

It is possible to upload files for background information but for the review only comments provided in the online tool will be processed. 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.

If you have any questions regarding the consultation, please do not hesitate to get in contact with Eleni Tryfon (Eleni.Tryfon@eea.europa.eu) and Doug Evans (doug.evans@mnhn.fr) copying Mette Lund (Mette.Lund@eea.europa.eu).

Files attached to this consultation
Section Comments
Dry grasslands 6
Mesic grasslands 7
Seasonally wet and wet grasslands 6
Alpine and subalpine grasslands 4
Woodland fringes and clearings and tall forb stands 4
Inland salt steppes 3
Sparsely wooded grasslands 0