Phytosociological studies in the British heath formation II. Heaths of the Vaccinio-Genistetalia R. Schubert 1960, and species-poor heaths of the Ulicetalia minoris (P. Duvign. 1944) J. M. Géhu 1973 tab:
Bridgewater. P. B.,
Species-poor lowland heaths in Britain are referable to the Calluno-Ericetum cinereae (dry heaths) and Calluno-Ericetum tetralicis (humid heaths). A new association, the Carici arenariae-Ericetum cinereae, is described from coastal dune heath in western Britain. These three associations all belong to the Ulicetalia minoris, and represent the continental and northern fringe of the Ulici-Ericion cinereae and Ulici-Ericion ciliaris. They are transitional between the Ulicetalia and Vaccinio-Genistetalia. The latter order contains much of the vegetation described as "moorland" in England, Wales and southern Scotland, all of which belongs to a single association, the Vaccinio-Callunetum. Species-poor lowland dry heath in East Anglia is assigned to a new association, the Carici arenariae-Callunetum. The Calluno-Genistetum is not present in Britain. Considerable difficulty ensues when trying to assign British moorland and species-poor heath to associations, due to a lack of clearly defined differential species. Despite this difficulty, the ranking of Calluna/Vaccinium moorland at association level seems a sound treatment. A review of the associations described supports the classification of Géhu (1975) as being fully appropriate for Britain.