Plant Community/UK Phase 1 Habitat Classification

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This is a tentative draft of how to tag various Phase 1 habitat classes. Further reference in the JNCC Manual].

Although designed for the UK it may be suitable in other Boreo-temperate areas of the Northern Hemisphere. As it's name implies this is designed to be a starting point for more detailed classification.

Note that the names of classes are taken from the official manual and are somewhat unwieldy. Therefore the ref tag is the most important one to use.


Category Phase1 Ref Phase1 Name Current likely OSM Tagging Extended tagging for phytosociology Remarks
Woodland & Scrub A1.1 Semi-natural Broad-leaved woodland natural=wood and/or landuse=forest with leaf_type=broadleaved See the manual for the rules determining whether woodland is semi-natural
Woodland & Scrub A2.1 Scrub - dense/continuous natural=scrub
Woodland & Scrub A2.2 Scrub - scattered natural=scrub
Woodland & Scrub A3.1 Broadleaved Parkland/scattered trees leisure=park
Woodland & Scrub A3.2 Coniferous Parkland/scattered trees leisure=park
Woodland & Scrub A3.3 Mixed Parkland/scattered trees leisure=park
Grassland and marsh B1.1 Acid grassland - unimproved
Grassland and marsh B1.2 Acid grassland - semi-improved
Grassland and marsh B2 Neutral grassland
Grassland and marsh B2.1 Neutral grassland - unimproved This is a RARE category. For instance there are 28 ha left in Nottinghamshire. Corresponds generally to NVC MG4 and MG5 grassland.
Grassland and marsh B2.2 Neutral grassland - semi-improved
Grassland and marsh B3 Calcareous grassland
Grassland and marsh B3.1 Calcareous grassland - unimproved
Grassland and marsh B3.2 Calcareous grassland - semi-improved
Grassland and marsh B4 Improved grassland Dominated by a small number of grasses, notably Perennial Rye-grass (Lolium perenne). In general these will be a lush green and will have few obvious broad-leaved weed species. When Dandelions are in flower (early Spring), green fields with very few Dandelions are candidates for this category.
Grassland and marsh B5 Marsh/marshy grassland No specific correspondences, as a range of combinations from natural=wetland, wetland=marsh through landuse=pasture to landuse=farmland and landuse=grass may all fall into B5. Use * plant_community:gb:phase1=Marsh/marshy grassland
Grassland and marsh B6 Poor semi-improved grassland No specific correspondences * plant_community:gb:phase1=Poor semi-improved grassland
Tall herb and fen C1.1 Bracken no obvious tags in use, but natural=bracken may be suitable Bracken apparently covers about 1% of the Earth's landarea, it should therefore be mapped!
Tall herb and fen C1.2 Bracken no obvious tags in use, but natural=bracken may be suitable
Tall herb and fen C2 Upland species-rich ledges no obvious tags in use
Tall herb and fen C3.1 Other tall herb and fern - ruderal No obvious tags in use The manual mentions specific stands of certain plants: Japanese Knotweed and Rosebay Willowherb.
Tall herb and fen C3.1 Other tall herb and fern - non-ruderal No obvious tags in use
Heathland D1.2 Dry dwarf shrub heath - acid natural=heath
Heathland D1.2 Dry dwarf shrub heath - basic natural=heath
Heathland D2 Wet dwarf shrub heath natural=heath
Heathland D3 Lichen/bryophyte heath natural=heath
Heathland D4 Montane heath/dwarf herb natural=heath
Heathland D5 Dry heath/acid grassland Nnatural=heath This is a mosaic group where grassland and heath are in patches not worth mapping on their own. Common in upland areas.
Heathland D6 Wet heath/acid grassland Nnatural=heath This is a mosaic group where grassland and heath are in patches not worth mapping on their own. Common in upland areas.
Swamp, marginal and inundation F1 Swamp natural=wetland with one of wetland=reedbed Includes a variety of tall herb wetland vegetation types, such as reedbeds, and those dominated by sedges (Carex) and reed-mace (Typha). DO NOT CONFUSE with natural=wetland with wetland=swamp which refers to wetlands with a substantial woody (tree & shrub) component.
Miscellaneous J1.1 Cultivated Land landuse=farmland with crop=*
Miscellaneous J3.4 Caravan Site tourism=caravan_site

Implicit Phase 1 values

Certain tags or tag combinations will naturally imply a Phase 1 classification. A provisional Phase 1 map may therefore be constructed without explict tags. The tabulation below groups them by key:

Tag (or tag combo) Phase1 Ref Remarks
landuse=forest A1 Really needs additional tags
landuse=quarry I2.1 See also Spoil Heaps (I2.2)
landuse=recreation_ground J1.2
leisure=park A3 Presumption is that there are scattered trees
leisure=pitch J1.2 Only if not on some other landuse
leisure=recreation_ground J1.2
natural=wood A1 Really needs additional tags
natural=scrub A2 No specific tags to separate on density
natural=water G Providing no tidal=yes tag
natural=water
with one of water=pond or water=lake or water=reservoir
G1 Providing no tidal=yes tag
natural=wetland wetland=reedbed F1
natural=wetland wetland=bog E1
tourism=caravan_site J3.4
waterway=riverbank G2 check tidal tag