A small fern, often occurring singly or in small populations. It prefers well-drained sites, usually with a high base-content, although it can occur on more acidic substrates. Habitats include meadows, pastures, open woodland, sand dunes and grassy rock ledges. It can also colonise slag heaps and quarry spoil. 0-1065 m (Ben Lawers, Mid Perth).
B. lunaria was lost from many lowland sites before 1930, and this loss has continued, particularly in N. England, due to grassland improvement and scrub invasion. There appear to have been some losses in upland areas, but the species can easily be overlooked and may therefore be under-recorded.
Circumpolar Boreo-temperate element.
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Light (Ellenberg): 8
Moisture (Ellenberg): 4
Reaction (Ellenberg): 6
Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 2
Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0
January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3
July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 13.8
Annual Precipitation (mm): 1259
Height (cm): 15
Perennation - primary
Life Form - primary
Clonality - primary
Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 1109
Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 138
Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 1
Atlas Change Index: -0.43
Weighted Changed Factor: -25
Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)
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.