|Unitary Authority||North Eastern Scotland|
|SAC EU Code||UK0012894|
|Status||Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)|
|* This is the approximate central point of the SAC. In the case of large, linear or composite sites, this may not represent the location where a feature occurs within the SAC.|
General site character
Bogs, Marshes, Water fringed vegetation, Fens (5%)
Heath, Scrub, Maquis and Garrigue, Phygrana (85%)
Dry grassland, Steppes (3%)
Alpine and sub-Alpine grassland (1%)
Broad-leaved deciduous woodland (5%)
Inland rocks, Screes, Sands, Permanent Snow and ice (1%)
Download the Standard Data Form for this site as submitted to Europe (PDF <100kb)
Note When undertaking an appropriate assessment of impacts at a site, all features of European importance (both primary and non-primary) need to be considered.
Annex I habitats that are a primary reason for selection of this site
Morrone Birkwood is one of several sites representing juniper Juniperus communis formations in north-east Scotland. It has the most extensive and diverse example of a transition between woodland and juniper scrub in the UK. The site contains examples of juniper developed both on limestone drift soil and on contrasting acidic soils. The stands on lime-rich soils are the largest and most diverse in Scotland. The flora is species-rich, with a well-developed northern component. This includes rare species usually associated with Scots pine Pinus sylvestris woods, such as twinflower Linnaea borealis, serrated wintergreen Orthilia secunda and interrupted clubmoss Lycopodium annotinum. Nodding mellick Melica nutans, globeflower Trollius europaeus and northern bedstraw Galium boreale also occur. Juniper is actively regenerating on the open slopes above the wood. Pollen analysis indicates that the wood has not altered floristically since the post-glacial period. Other habitats associated with the limestone include 6210 Semi-natural dry grasslands and scrubland facies on calcareous substrates, 7220 Petrifying springs with tufa formation, 7230 Alkaline fens and 7240 Alpine pioneer formations of the Caricion bicoloris-atrofuscae.
7240 Alpine pioneer formations of the Caricion bicoloris-atrofuscae * Priority feature
Morrone Birkwood supports a relatively low altitude representation of this habitat in the eastern Scottish Highlands. Although they are not extensive, open flushes of M11 Carex demissa – Saxifraga aizoides mire are frequent, associated with 7220 petrifying springs and more extensive areas of 7230 Alkaline fens. Species such as yellow saxifrage Saxifraga aizoides, Scottish asphodel Tofieldia pusilla and alpine rush Juncus alpinoarticulatus are present.
Annex I habitats present as a qualifying feature, but not a primary reason for selection of this site
7220 Petrifying springs with tufa formation (Cratoneurion) * Priority feature
7230 Alkaline fens
Annex II species that are a primary reason for selection of this site
- Not Applicable
Annex II species present as a qualifying feature, but not a primary reason for site selection
1013 Geyer's whorl snail Vertigo geyeri
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