An evergreen herb of short acidic grassland on mountains and moors, where it grows on moist but well-drained, thin peaty soils, especially those directly overlying rocks. More rarely it occurs on acidic sands. Vegetative propagation is much more frequent than sexual reproduction, which usually takes place on bare, disturbed ground. 0-1220 m (Ben Macdui, Banffs.).
There has been little change in the distribution of this species in the uplands since the 1962 Atlas. Some of its lowland sites have been lost to agricultural improvement, mainly before 1930.
Circumpolar Arctic-montane element, with a disjunct distribution.
Light (Ellenberg): 7
Moisture (Ellenberg): 5
Reaction (Ellenberg): 2
Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 2
Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0
January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 1.9
July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 12.4
Annual Precipitation (mm): 1686
PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.
Atlas text references
1986. Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Jalas & Suominen (1972)
1978. Ferns and their allies. The Island of Mull: a survey of its flora and environment. :12.1-12.7.
1965. Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.
1997. The ferns of Britain and Ireland, edn 2.