Calaminarian grassland is grassland where the process of seral succession has been halted due to the toxicity of soils containing high levels of toxic metal ions. These habitats may be semi-natural on naturally exposed deposits, or the result of mining, or from erosion by rivers, sometimes including washed-out mine workings.
In the United Kingdom calaminarian grassland is regarded as one of its 'habitats of principal importance for biodiversity conservation' and is predominantly found on industrial or post-industrial land, especially in the east of Cumbria and western dales, the Peak District and north west Wales and parts of the Scottish Highlands. Semi-natural examples are rarer and found mainly in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.
Species typical of Calaminarian grasslands include:
- Spring sandwort (Minuartia verna)
- Field pennycress (Thlaspi arvense)
- genetically adapted races of species such as thrift (Armeria maritima) and bladder campion (Silene maritima).
Other notable species include:
- Young's helleborine (Epipactis youngiana)
- Forked spleenwort (Asplenium septentrionale)
- Cornish path-moss (Ditrichum cornubicum)
- Western rustwort (Marsupella profunda)
- Cephaloziella nicholsonii
- Ditrichum plumbicola
- Scottish sandwort (Arenaria norvegica)
- Shetland mouse-ear (Cerastium nigrescens)
- United Kingdom Biodiversity Action Plan
- List of species and habitats of principal importance in England
- List of habitats of principal importance in Wales
- Biodiversity Reporting and Information Group (2011) . Ant Maddock, ed. "UK Biodiversity Action Plan: Priority Habitat Descriptions" (PDF). Joint Nature Conservation Committee.
- "Calaminarian grassland project". www.peakdistrict.gov.uk. Peak District National Park. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
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