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Heathland at Woodbury Common, Devon (England), featuring purple flowers of Calluna vulgaris and yellow flowers of Ulex gallii
Heath landscape in the Stirling Range, Western Australia, with a dieback-infested valley in the mid-ground

A heath or heathland is a shrubland habitat found mainly on free-draining infertile, acidic soils, and is characterised by open, low-growing woody vegetation. Moorland is generally related to high-ground heaths<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> with — especially in the British Isles — a cooler and more damp climate.

Heaths are widespread worldwide but are fast disappearing and considered a rare habitat in Europe.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> They form extensive and highly diverse communities across Australia in humid and sub-humid areas. Fire regimes with recurring burning are required for the maintenance of the heathlands.<ref name="Specht">Specht, R.L. 'Heathlands' in 'Australian Vegetation' R.H. Groves ed. Cambridge University Press 1988</ref> Even more diverse though less widespread heath communities occur in Southern Africa. Extensive heath communities can also be found in the California chaparral, New Caledonia, central Chile and along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. In addition to these extensive heath areas, the vegetation type is also found in scattered locations across all continents, except Antarctica.


Heath sections
Intro  Characteristics  Anthropogenic heaths  See also  References  External links  

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