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
|4030 European dry heaths|
|The Maim supports an excellent, representative example of NVC community H16 Calluna vulgaris–Arctostaphylos uva-ursi heath. This is one of the eight heathland NVC types that together represent the European dry heaths Annex I habitat in Scotland. The H16 community is a characteristic heath type of north-east Scotland and The Maim, on Deeside, is representative of a local stronghold in south Grampian.
The H16 heath at The Maim is developed on freely-drained soils, apparently derived from granite with obscure outcrops of basic rocks, within an altitudinal range of 430-570 metres. It occurs mainly, but not exclusively, on steep west-facing slopes, and forms one of the largest extents of H16 heath at a single location in Scotland. In addition, H16 heath often occurs in small, scattered fragments, but at The Maim it occurs in a more or less contiguous area. Bearberry Arctostaphylos uva-ursi is typically abundant but only locally rivals heather Calluna vulgaris, which is the dominant species. Bell heather Erica cinerea, cowberry Vaccinium vitis-idaea, and wavy hair-grass Deschampsia flexuosa are all very widespread within the area. Intermediate wintergreen Pyrola media is also quite scattered and locally frequent in the more species-rich areas. Other species represented include bitter vetch Lathyrus linifolius, slender St John’s wort Hypericum pulchrum, alpine lady’s-mantle Alchemilla alpina, common bird’s-foot trefoil Lotus corniculatus and wood anemone Anemone nemorosa. Serrated wintergreen Orthilia secunda also occurs. The most widespread species indicative of base-enrichment are thyme Thymus polytrichus and flea sedge Carex pulicaris. In some grassy patches within the species-rich area along the road these calcicoles are very locally accompanied by quaking grass Briza media and alpine cinquefoil Potentilla crantzii. The heath also supports five species of clubmoss, including the rare interrupted clubmoss Lycopodium annotinum, and the very rare Diphasiastrum complanatum ssp. issleri. Cladonia lichens are well represented, particularly the bushy species of the Annex V subgenus Cladina at higher altitudes in transitions to subalpine heath, also marked by the occurrence of Cetraria islandica.
Annex I habitats present as a qualifying feature, but not a primary reason for selection of this site
Annex II species that are a primary reason for selection of this site
Annex II species present as a qualifying feature, but not a primary reason for site selection
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