Biological Characteristics

Types of Habitats - Brushwoods


There are thickets of legumes (“xesteiras”, gorse, broom), very dense formations of 2-4 m in height, which have different composition and structure according to the biogeographical territory, the degree of management and evolutionary state (Rivas-Martínez, 1987; Izco , 1996). They are dominated by species like Cytisus striatus, Cytisus scoparius, Genista polygaliphylla, Ulex europaeus, Pteridium aquilinum and Rubus ulmifolius, but are also common underbush species Daboecia cantabrica, Agrostis capillaris, Dactylis glomerata, Lithodora prostrata, Potentilla erecta, Galium saxatile, etc. The xesteiras deserve special attention with Cytisus Xesteiras ingramii, of Galician-Asturian distribution, present in the northern part of the territory. This is a thicket of smaller height than the previous ones, strongly present in oceanic territories , which preferably colonizes walls of ravines, slopes and steep slopes, generally environments with little edaphic development. As dominant species of the Galician-Asturian endemic Cytisus ingramii, Ulex europaeus appear along with Pteridium aquilinum, and sometimes accompanied by Ulex gallii, Cytisus scoparius or Cytisus striatus. Like other common species we can find Rubus spp. , Cirsium filipendulum, Erica arborea, Erica cinerea, Daboecia cantabrica, Digitalis purpurea, Lithodora prostrata, Potentilla erecta, Galium saxatile, Physospermum cornubiense, Avenula sulcata, or Agrostis spp.

Within the not-hygrophitic bushes we can establish certain differences depending on the presence and abundance of species with a xerophytic and continental trend (Halimium halissoides, Tuberaria guttata, Genistella tridentata, Erica aragonensis), as well as oceanic bushes, where the presence of these species is less, and gorse (Ulex europaeus) mixed with ericaceous species (Erica cinerea, Calluna vulgaris) appears as dominant. Thus, the floral composition of these communities varies by a gradient in the transition from oceanic to continental climates, from the northern mountains to the southern part of the Terra Chá and its contact with the Cantabrian Mountain Range. Like other frequent species within communities of heath-gorse or heather we include, among others, Simethis Mattiazzi, Asphodelus albus, Lithodora prostrata, Agrostis curtisii, Agrostis duriei Avenula sulcata, Potentilla erecta and Pseudarrenatherum longifolium.