Calcareous grasslandCalcareous grassland
(or alkaline grassland
) is an ecosystem
associated with thin basic soil
, such as that on chalk
and limestone downland
. Plants on calcareous grassland are typically short and hardy, and include grasses
such as trefoil
. Calcareous grassland is an important habitat for insects, particularly butterflies
, and is kept at a plagioclimax
by grazing animals
, usually rabbits.
There are large areas of calcareous grassland in northwestern Europe, particularly areas of southern England, such as Salisbury Plain and the South Downs.