Habitats repository (HABREF)

Habitats or vegetations typologies

INPN - Habitats repositories - Sigmatist phytosociology

Relevant Territory

Metropolitan France


The Prodrome of French Vegetation is the national typological repository for sigmatist phytosociology. It classifies plant groups into a hierarchical system on 8 levels (from class to subassociation) described as a phytosociological synsystem.

Developed under the aegis of the French Society of Phytosociology, the first version of the Prodrome (or PVF1, Bardat et al., 2004) presents a synsystem of the higher units of vegetation (from class to suballiance) for metropolitan France. Its division at association level (or PVF2) was launched in 2006 in order to continue the work carried out between 1996 and 2004 (Bioret & Royer, 2009; Bioret et al., 2013). More than 87 classes and around 2 800 associations are to be processed.

The division of the Prodrome is organised class by class around a manager coordinating the division at national level. If the manager considers it appropriate, the syntheses may be extended to European level.

Each class includes:

  • A summary presentation containing information on the higher units and a listing of associations by alliance (or suballiance)
  • A detailed presentation of the associations under 12 headings (in the case of supranational syntheses, only associations present or to be found in France are concerned by this second section): full name of the association, synonyms, higher units, nomenclature type, physiognomy, characteristic species combination, synecology, variations, synchorology, axes to be developed, correspondences with the classifications of European habitats, and bibliographical references
  • One or more summary tables.

Clic here to find out the methodological program pattern

The Prodrome of French Vegetation (PVF1) served as a framework for the phytosociological correspondences of the Habitats Manuals (Bensettiti et al., 2001-2005). The latter detail the habitats of Community interest present in France, and specify the phytosociological units concerned by each habitat. These having been replaced within the Prodrome of French Vegetation (PVF1), the whole constitutes a typology of the phytosociological units of the Habitats Manuals.

In complementarity with the Prodrome, a synopsis of the bryophyte communities for metropolitan France was published in 2002 (Bardat & Hauguel, 2002; Bardat, 2003).

At European level, there is a phytosociological classification (Rodwell et al., 2002 ; Mucina et al., 2016) for the higher units of vegetation (from class to alliance). It concerns vascular plant, bryophyte, lichen, and algal communities. In addition, a classification of bryophytic communities has been published up to the sub-association level (Marstaller, 2006).

Change and development

The divisions of the PVF2 classes are published as they are drafted in the French Botanical Society's Journal of Botany, Acta Botanica Gallica, or in phytosociological documents (full list of publications). The Prodrome is not, however, a fixed repository; development of knowledge is taken into account, notably through the publication of addenda.

The bryosociological synopsis has not been the subject of any update.


Hierarchical tree of PVF1

Hierarchical tree of PVF2

Hierarchical tree of bryosociological synopsis

Hierarchical tree of phytosociological units of Habitats manuals

Hierarchical tree of European phytosociological classification (2002)

Hierarchical tree of European bryosociological classification (2006)

Download the typology tables

Download correspondence tables

Text and tables by class of the Prodrome (PVF2)

French Society of Phytosociology


Bardat J., Bioret F., Botineau M., Boullet V., Delpech R., Géhu J.-M., Haury J., Lacoste A., Rameau J.-C., Royer J.-M., Roux G. & Touffet J., 2004. Prodrome des végétations de France. Coll. Patrimoines naturels, 61. Muséum national d'histoire naturelle, Paris, 171 p.

Bioret F. & Royer J.-M., 2009. Présentation du projet de déclinaison du Prodrome des végétations de France. J. Bot. Soc. Bot. France, 48: 47-48.

Bioret F., Gaudillat V. & Royer J.-M., 2013. The Prodrome of French vegetation: a national synsystem for phytosociological knowledge and management issues. Plant Sociology, 50 (1): 17-21.

Gaudillat V. & Louvel J., 2014. Déclinaison du Prodrome des végétations de France : Organisation et consignes de rédaction. Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Service du patrimoine naturel, Paris, 21 p.

Bardat J. & Hauguel J.-C., 2002. Synopsis bryosociologique pour la France. Cryptogamie, Bryologie, 23 (4) : 279-343.

Bardat J., 2003. Compléments méthodologiques au synopsis bryosociologique pour la France. Cryptogamie, Bryologie, 24 (1) : 71-73.

Marstaller R., 2006. Syntaxonomischer Konspekt der Moosgesellschaften Europas und angrenzender Gebiete. Haussknechtia, 13: 1-192.

Mucina L., Bültmann H., Dierßen K., Theurillat J.-P., Raus Th., Čarni A., Šumberová K., Willner W., Dengler J., Gavilán García R., Chytrý M., Hájek M., Di Pietro R., Iakushenko D., Pallas J., Daniëls F.J.A., Bergmeier E., Santos Guerra A., Ermakov N., Valachovič M., Schaminée J.H.J., Lysenko T., Didukh Y.P., Pignatti S., Rodwell J.S., Capelo J., Weber H.E., Solomeshch A., Dimopoulos P., Aguiar C., Hennekens S.M. & Tichý L., 2016. Vegetation of Europe: hierarchical floristic classification system of vascular plant, bryophyte, lichen, and algal communities. Applied Vegetation Science, 19 (Suppl. 1): 3-264.

Rodwell J.S., Schaminée J.H.J, Mucina L., Pignatti S., Dring J. & Moss D., 2002. The Diversity of European Vegetation. An overview of phytosociological alliances and their relationships to EUNIS habitats. Report EC-LNV nr. 2002/054, Wageningen, 168 p.

INPN - Habitats repositories - Synusial phytosociology

Relevant Territory



The synonymic phytosociological database of vascular plant communities of the World, at the level of association (Baseveg) is the typological reference for synusial phytosociology. It has been developed by Philippe Julve in the frame of its permanent research program CATMINAT (“Catalogue of Natural Environments”).

Baseveg database initially included all the phytosociological unities (from classes to associations) present in France and their synonyms. It was later extended to the World. Various information are associated to the syntaxons: CATMINAT hierarchical code, vernacular name, world chorology, known distribution in France, physiognomy, ecology, dynamic, departmental chorology, etc. Baseveg includes 449 classes and 14 587 associations (after verification the 23/07/2019). Baseveg data are searchable via eVeg website.

Three other databases concern other taxonomic groups: bryophytes (basebryo.xlsx), lichens (baselich.xlsx) and algae (basealg.xlsx).


A repository that takes account of developments, but is not regularly updated.


CATMINAT programme

Website eVeg (database on european vegetation)


Julve Ph., 1998 ff. Baseveg. Index phytosociologique synonymique de la végétation mondiale. Version du 23/07/2019. Programme CATMINAT.

Julve Ph., 2002 ff. Basebryo. Base de données des végétations bryophytiques de France. Version du 12/02/2018. Programme CATMINAT.

Julve Ph., 2017. Baselich. Base de données européenne des végétations lichéniques. Version du 04/04/2017. Programme CATMINAT.

Julve Ph., 2018. Basealg. Synopsis phytosociologique des communautés d’algues. Version du 08/12/2016. Programme CATMINAT.

INPN - Habitats repositories - National repository of benthic marine habitats

Relevant Territory

Metropolitan France


The national repository of benthic marine habitats is composed of two typologies: one relating to the Mediterranean biocenoses and the other concerning the habitats of the English Channel, the North Sea and the Atlantic. It was prepared by synthesising existing typologies (regional, national and international) and supplementing them with newly acquired knowledge. Its creation and consolidation, coordinated by the Natural Heritage unit (UMS PatriNat), benefit from the participation of many benthological scientific experts from universities, CNRS, the IFREMER, the RESOMAR and the MNHN as well as groups of scientists involved in the study, monitoring and management of the marine environment. This national repository defines a common language that facilitates the implementation of public conservation policies and allows the marine habitats present in metropolitan France to be identified. Its use is recommended for all programmes related to the conservation of marine habitats on a national scale. It also serves as a support to establish the French point of view, as well as any proposals for modifications and additions to the European repository of habitats EUNIS (for the marine domain).

The reports below provide more information on these two typologies, including the principles and definitions used, their method of construction, and their shortcomings.


The national repository was published in 2011 for the typology of the benthic Mediterranean biocenoses, and in 2013 for the benthic marine habitats of the English Channel, the North Sea and the Atlantic. This repository is expected to evolve to take into account new knowledge. Until now, these two typologies were updated in 2014, and 2015 and 2019, respectively, following the acquisition of new information on the habitats of the bathyal zone and the updated version of the European repository of habitats (EUNIS).

The description of each unit of the typology pf the Mediterranean benthic biocenoses has been initiated and currently 115 units have been described. They are based on the information available when they exist (mainly Peres and Picard, 1964; Bellan-Santini et al., 1994; Bensettiti et al., 2004 and UNEP/MAP/RAC/SPA, 2007), or were fully written and validated by benthological experts. Since the version 2 of this typology, 4 units have been removed for lack of proof of their existence.

The previous typology, devoted to all the marine biocenoses present on the coasts of metropolitan France, was developed in 1994 by Dauvin and collaborators. Its creation was coordinated by the MNHN in the context of the Sea-ZNIEFF (Zone naturelle d'intérêt écologique, faunistique et floristique - Natural area of ecological fauna and flora interest) programme. It was used to build the national repository and is downloadable in part Documentation.


Hierarchical tree of benthic biocenoses of the Mediterranean

Hierarchical tree of benthic marine habitats of the Atlantic

Download typologies tables

Download correspondence tables


Michez N., Dirberg G., Bellan-Santini D., Verlaque M., Bellan G., Pergent G., Pergent-Martini C., Labrune C., Francour P. & Sartoretto S., 2011. Typologie des biocénoses benthiques de Méditerranée, Liste de référence française et correspondances. Rapport SPN 2011 - 13, MNHN, Paris, 48 p.

Michez N., Aish A., Hily C., Sauriau P.-G., Derrien-Courtel S., de Casamajor M.-N., Foveau A., Ruellet T., Lozach S., Soulier L., Popovsky J., Blanchet H., Cajeri P., Bajjouk T., Guillaumont B., Grall J., Gentil F., Houbin C. & Thiébaut E., 2013. Typologie des habitats marins benthiques français de Manche, de Mer du Nord et d'Atlantique : Version 1. Rapport SPN 2013 - 9, MNHN, Paris, 32 p.

Michez N., Fourt M., Aish A., Bellan G., Bellan-Santini D., Chevaldonné P., Fabri M.-C., Goujard A., Harmelin J.-G., Labrune C., Pergent G., Sartoretto S., Vacelet J. & Verlaque M., 2014. Typologie des biocénoses benthiques de Méditerranée Version 2. Rapport SPN 2014 - 33, MNHN, Paris, 26 p.

Michez N., Bajjouk T., Aish A., Andersen A. C., Ar Gall E., Baffreau A., Blanchet H., Chauvet P., Dauvin J.-C., De Casamajor M.-N., Derrien-Courtel S., Dubois S., Fabri M.-C., Houbin C., Le Gall L., Menot L., Rolet C., Sauriau P.-G., Thiebaut E., Tourolle J. & Van den Beld I., 2015. Typologie des habitats marins benthiques de la Manche, de la Mer du Nord et de l'Atlantique Version 2. Rapport SPN 2015 - 45, MNHN, Paris, 61 p.

Michez N., Thiébaut E., Dubois S., Le Gall L., Dauvin J.C., Andersen A. C., Baffreau A., Bajjouk T., Blanchet H., de Bettignies T., de Casamajor M.-N., Derrien-Courtel S., Houbin C., Janson A.-L., La Rivière M., Lévèque L., Menot L., Sauriau P.G., Simon N., Viard F., 2019. Typologie des habitats marins benthiques de la Manche, de la Mer du Nord et de l'Atlantique. Version 3. UMS PatriNat, Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris, 52 p.

INPN - Habitats repositories - Typology of marine habitats in the overseas departments

Relevant Territory

West Indies, Clipperton island, French Guiana, Scattered islands, La Réunion, Mayotte, New Caledonia, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Wallis-et-Futuna.


A review of typological and cartographic repositories of terrestrial vegetation and habitats of French overseas territories has been made in 2016 (Poncet et al., 2016). Each overseas territory has at least one typology dealing with habitats and/or vegetation.

Saint Pierre and Miquelon disposes of a typology proposed by Muller & Etcheberry (2006) that include 36 basic habitats. In order to facilitate its use, this typology was integrated into the classification of habitats of the Palaearctic, which was slightly adapted for the occasion (Muller et al., 2011).

West Indies (Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint Barthélemy and Saint Martin) and French Guiana have each an habitats typology declined from the Provisional Typology of the Natural Habitats of French Overseas Departments (Hoff (coord), 1997) of which they have taken the habitats presents on their territories, respectively 507 and 535 habitats. West Indies s.l. (foreign territories included) have a vegetation typology coming from a synthesis document which deals with the whole Caribbean area (Areces-Mallea et al., 1999); from which 151 typological units (among a total of 574) concern French islands. To note that some typological units of this referential are not yet indicated as "present" in French West Indies by lack of available information on vegetation of these territories.

Guadeloupe have an ecological compartments typology (partially based on landscape phytosociology (Rousteau et al., 1996)) which counts 69 units and is accompanied by an ecological map. Authors have relied on statistic analysis of numerous forest vegetation surveys and on their expertise to build the typology. It covers most of Guadeloupe islands (Basse-Terre, Grande-Terre, Les Saintes, La Désirade and Marie-Galante), and only islands of Petite Terre and some islets (îlet Fajou, îlet à Kahouane, etc.) are not covered by this referential.

Martinique disposes of a vegetation typology built after the landscape phytosociology principles (Portecop, 1979) which includes 81 entries and is accompanied by an ecological map (1/75 000). The author proposes a division of the whole territory in ecological compartments in which only one vegetation series can be expressed, of which he identifies the climax or paraclimax by mature forest types and describes previous stages (meadow, savannah, thicket, etc.) as degradation types of the original forest in dynamic relationship with each other.

French Guiana disposes of a forest habitats typology (Guitet et al., 2015). The authors have relied on Hoff’s typology (2001) of which they make evolve the classification of forest types, proposing 41 types hierarchically imbricated in three levels. The typology is accompanied by a map (predictive mapping of forest habitats of French Guiana) which shows 20 types and cover the whole territory.

La Réunion disposes of two typologies dealing with habitats:
1) a first, entitled Typology of natural habitats of La Réunion (Strasberg et al., 2000, rev. 2010) which is based on CORINE biotopes referential. The habitats present in La Réunion that have no correspondence in this referential have led to the creation of new codes that follow the same hierarchical system. In part, these new codes and habitats are derived from the Provisional Typology of the Natural Habitats of French Overseas Departments (Hoff, 1997). This classification of habitats of La Réunion includes 341 habitats.
2) a second more recent typology carried out by the National Botanical Conservatory of Mascarin entitled Descriptive typology of natural and semi-natural habitats of La Réunion (Lacoste et al., 2017) which is an evolution of the previous reference (Strasberg et al., 2000 rev. 2010) in which the authors list 409 habitats.

Mayotte has an habitat typology named Typology of natural areas and terrestrial and littoral habitats of Mayotte (Boullet, 2005). This typology is at the time an extension of CORINE Biotope "DOM" code (Hoff (coord.), 1997) to Mayotte and an evolution as the typological units are provided with descriptive informations (contrary to the fore-mentioned referential). The author proposes a hierarchical typology based on the vegetation classification (e.g. herbaceous vegetation, shrubland, etc.) and divided in eight main domains (e.g. littoral, non-marine waters, etc.), which is declined in 449 units.

The Scattered islands have a provisional typology done by Boullet & Hivert (2018) on habitats. This repository consisting of 90 posts is provisionally limited to the typological units of levels 1 to 3 and will soon be completed by an update.

Wallis-and-Futuna and New Caledonia have a common typology that deals with vegetation and is based on phytosociological classification methods of units. This typology consists of 394 posts and is based on compilation of three publications: Hoff et al. (1983) which deals with the ruderal and anthropic vegetation groups of New Caledonia; Hoff & Brisse (1990) which focuses on plant communities in Wallis-and-Futuna, with the exception of mid-altitude forests; Hoff (1993) where the author proposes a preliminary synsystem common to both territories. This typology is not exhaustive at the scale of these two territories.

Clipperton has a typology on its terrestrial and marine plant groups (vascular flora and algae) which is based on a phytosociological approach but whose units are not structured following this method. This classification comprises 30 posts and was carried out by Sachet (1962) with material collected in 1958 as part of the International Geophysical Year.


According to Muller and Etcheberry, the typology of habitats of Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon is a work document that has not yet been finalized and is intended to be improved. A first additional work, relative to the low Diapensia lapponica heathland, was realized by Muller in 2008.

The typology of the habitats of La Réunion developed by Strasberg et al. was revised in 2010 by Picot & Saliman. Subsequently, it was revised and supplemented with succinct descriptive information about the habitats. This work led to the publication of the Descriptive Typology of Natural and Semi-natural Habitats of Réunion (Lacoste et al., 2014). "Habitats Manuals" complete this typology by providing detailed information about each habitat.

Modifications have been made to some of these typologies. Following the proposals of local experts for the establishment of the lists of habitats likely to be the subject of a natural habitat protection order ("arrêté de protection d'habitats naturels" - APHN).


Hierarchical tree of Habitats of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon

Hierarchical tree of Caribbean Vegetation

Hierarchical tree of ecological compartments of Guadeloupe

Hierarchical tree of Vegetation of Martinique

Hierarchical tree of Habitats of the West Indies

Hierarchical tree of Habitats of French Guiana

Hierarchical tree of Forest Habitats of French Guiana

Hierarchical tree of natural and semi-natural Habitats of La Réunion (2017)

Hierarchical tree of Habitats of La Réunion (2000, rev. 2010)

Hierarchical tree of Habitats of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon

Hierarchical tree of Habitats of Mayotte

Hierarchical tree of Habitats of the Scattered islands

Hierarchical tree of Vegetation of Wallis-et-Futuna and of New Caledonia

Hierarchical tree of Vegetation of Clipperton island

Download typologies tables


Poncet R., Gaudillat V., Touroult V. & Poncet L., 2016. Revue des typologies et cartographies de végétations et habitats terrestres d'Outre-mer : recencement, évaluation et synthèse. Rapport SPN-MNHN 2016-101. Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Service du patrimoine naturel, Paris, 228 p

Muller S. & Etcheberry R., 2006. Annexe 3. Esquisse de typologie des habitats naturels de flore de l’archipel de Saint-Pierre et Miquelon. In Muller S., Conservation de la biodiversité à Saint-Pierre et Miquelon. Rapport de mission dans l’archipel du 15 au 29 juillet 2006. MEDD-Université P. Verlaine, Metz, 34 p.

Muller S., Etcheberry R., Urtizbéréa F. & Gaudillat V., 2019. Typologie des habitats de Saint-Pierre et Miquelon intégrés à la classification des habitats du Paléarctique. Université P. Verlaine, Metz, UMS PatriNat, Paris.

Areces-Mallea A. E., Weakley A. S., Li X., Sayre R. G., Parrish J. D., Tipton C. V. & Boucher T., 1999. A Guide to Carribbean Vegetation Types : Preliminary Classification System and Description. The Nature Conservancy, Arlington, VA, 166p.

Hoff M. (coord.), 1997. Typologie provisoire des habitats naturels des départements d'outre-mer français, basée sur CORINE biotopes et la « Classification of Palaearctic habitats » du Conseil de l'Europe. SPN-IEGB-MNHN, Paris, 40 p.

Hoff M., 2001. Liste des habitats naturels de Guyane. Herbier de l'université de Strasbourg.

Rousteau A, Portécop J. & Rollet B., 1996. Carte écologique de la Guadeloupe. ONF, Université des Antilles et de la Guyane, Parc national de la Guadeloupe, 36p. + 1 carte.

Portecop J., 1979. Phytogéographie, cartographie écologique et aménagement dans une île tropicale : le cas de la Martinique. Documents de cartographie écologique, 21 : 1-78 + 1 carte.

Guitet S., Brunaux O., Granville J.-J., Gonzales S., Richard-Hansen C. & Sabatier D., 2015. Catalogue des habitats forestiers de Guyane. ONF / Direction de l'environnement, de l'aménagement et du logement Guyane, Cayenne, 120 p.

Strasberg D., Dupont J. & Rameau J.-C., 2000. Typologie des Milieux Naturels et des Habitats de La Réunion. DIREN Réunion / Université de la Réunion, 27 p.

Lacoste M., Delbosc P. & Picot F., 2017. Typologie descriptive des habitats naturels et semi-naturels de La Réunion, version Janvier 2017. Conservatoire botanique de Mascarin, Saint-Leu, 137 p

Boullet V., 2005. Typologie des milieux naturels et des habitats terrestres et littoraux (supralittoral, médiolittoral pro parte) de Mayotte. In Rolland R. & Boullet V. (coords), 2005. Mayotte Biodiversité et évaluation patrimoniale. Contribution à la mise en œuvre de l'inventaire ZNIEFF, pp 44‐67.

Boullet V. & Hivert J., 2018. Typologie systémique des habitats terrestres et littoraux des îles Éparses. Version 2-3 octobre 2018.

Hoff M., Brisse H. & Grandjouan G., 1983. La végétation rudérale et anthropique de la Nouvelle-Calédonie et des Îles Loyauté (Pacifique Sud). Colloques phytosociologiques, XII : 179-248.

Hoff M. & Brisse H., 1990. Contribution à l'étude des groupements végétaux des Îles Wallis et Futuna. Documents phytosociologiques, XII : 19-76.

Hoff M., 1993. Liste préliminaire des unités syntaxonomiques de Guyane française, de Nouvelle-Calédonie, de Wallis et Futuna. Colloques phytosociologiques, XXII : 663-688.

Sachet M.-H., 1962. Flora and vegetation of Clipperton Island. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, Fourth Series 10: 249-307.

INPN - Habitats repositories - Overseas terrestrial habitats

Relevant Territory

French Guiana, La Réunion, Mayotte, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, The Scattered Islands, West Indies.

Geomorphology of coral reefs: World (territories with coral reefs); for France the following territories are concerned: Clipperton, Guadeloupe, La Réunion, Martinique, Mayotte, New Caledonia, French Polynesia, St. Barthélemy, Saint-Martin, the French Southern and Antarctic Lands (The Scattered Islands), Wallis and Futuna.


For the overseas departments, a typology of marine habitats was constructed based on the habitats identified by Guillaume and collaborators (1997) developed to assist in the implementation of the Sea-ZNIEFF inventory. Compared to this original document, the structure has been modified and is composed of three hierarchical levels. The first level distinguishes between geographical areas. The second level corresponds to a combination of two parameters: the substrate and tiering. Finally, at the third level, biocenoses appear. A new codification has also been created. A list of parameters used to describe the biocenoses has been established. Each of these parameters has been completed using the information contained in Guillaume and collaborators (1997) or by using the bibliography.

At global level, a geomorphological typology of coral reefs was conducted at the request of the French Initiative for Coral Reefs (IFRECOR) with the help of funding from the Ministry of Ecology, Energy, Sustainable Development and Spatial Planning. This typology is a product of the Millennium Coral Reef Mapping Project initiated in 2001 by the Institute for Marine Remote Sensing (IMaRS) of the University of South Florida (USF) in the United States, and continued in 2004 by the Research Institute for Development (IRD) in Nouméa. The hierarchical system includes several levels. The first dichotomy distinguishes continental reefs from oceanic reefs. These major types of reefs are then divided into large reef complexes which are broken down into blocks according to their geomorphology, position and structure. These level 3 elements are themselves composed of various combinations of elementary geomorphological units, known as level 4. The unique combination of information from levels 1 to 4 provides the final classification, level 5.

In the context of establishing lists of habitats that may be subject to a Natural Habitat Protection Order ("arrêté de protection d'habitats naturels" - APHN), a synthesis of existing knowledge has been completed. It has led to the production of new typologies for the marine habitats of French Guiana, Scattered Islands, Mayotte, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, or the addition of some missing habitats in existing typologies (Antilles, La Réunion).


The typology of marine habitats in the overseas departments constitutes an updated version of that developed by Guillaume and collaborators (1997). It has evolved with the acquisition of new knowledge. Given the complexity of overseas marine habitats, it cannot be regarded as exhaustive. In the context of the inventory of marine Znieff of La Reunion, field studies were recently conducted by the GIE MAREX and led to the identification of 19 new habitats for this territory that have enriched the typology.

In this regard, two preliminary works on reef habitats were realised by IFRECOR and the Natural Heritage Department of the French National Museum of Natural History. A typology proposal based on geomorphology was developed for the South Pacific (2011). The second typology of habitats proposal, both biocenotic and geomorphological (2012) focused on the islands of Europe (The Scattered Islands). These two works are downloadable in part Documentation.


Hierarchical tree of marine habitats of the overseas departments

Hierarchical tree of marine habitats of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon

Hierarchical tree of marine habitats of French Guiana

Hierarchical tree of marine habitats of Mayotte

Hierarchical tree of marine habitats of Scattered Islands

Hierarchical tree of the typology of geomorphology of coral reefs

Download typologies tables


Andréfouët S., Chagnaud N., Chauvin C. & Kranenburg C.J., 2008. Atlas des récifs coralliens de France Outre-mer. Centre IRD de Nouméa, 153 p.

INPN - Habitats repositories - European classifications of habitats

Relevant Territory

Europe and Palaearctic region.


The CORINE biotopes typology (Devillers et al., 2001) is a hierarchical system of classification of European habitats developed under the CORINE program (Coordination of Information on the Environment). The objective was to identify and describe biotopes of major importance for the conservation of nature within the European Community. In order to facilitate its use, it has been translated into French (Bissardon et al., 1997).

This typology includes 2 584 habitats of which 1 486 are present or supposed to be present in France (status as of 19/07/2019). They are divided into 7 major family environments, such as shoreline and halophilic habitats, and forests. Natural and semi-natural habitats are more or less detailed depending on the case, but with an increased accuracy for habitats considered as having a strong heritage interest in Europe. The other habitats (agricultural land and artificial landscapes) are treated more briefly. The typology is based largely on phytosociological classification, but also includes other parameters such as the dominance of a species or geographical location.

Using the same hierarchical system, the classification of Palaearctic habitats (Devilliers & Devilliers-Terschuren 1996, Devillers et al., 2001) extends the CORINE biotopes classification to the Palaearctic region, with a particular accuracy for the habitats of the Council of Europe member states. It comprises 6 228 habitats divided into 9 major families of environments.

Developed under the aegis of the European Environment Agency, EUNIS (European Nature Information System) habitat classification is one of the typologies referred to at European level. It is a hierarchical system of classification of European habitats, built primarily from the CORINE biotopes typology and its successor, the classification of habitats of the Palaearctic. In relation to these two typologies, EUNIS classification is characterised by a restructuring of levels 1 to 3 and an important development of the part devoted to marine habitats, on the basis of the JNCC's (Joint Nature Conservation Committee) Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland, and habitat typologies developed under the marine conventions of Barcelona Barcelone and HELCOM. The terrestrial habitats of a finer level are generally taken from the Palaearctic habitat classification. In the absence of a French edition, translations, restricted to habitats present in France, have been carried out (terrestrial and freshwater habitats: Louvel et al., 2013; marine habitats: Bajjouk et al., 2015a, b).

Its 2012 version includes 5 282 habitats divided into 10 major types of. 2 541 EUNIS habitats are considered present or to be found in France (status as at 12/12/2016).


The CORINE biotopes typology has not been the subject of any official version subsequent to its publication.

The classification of Palaearctic habitats has been updated several times until 2001.

A revision of the EUNIS habitat classification was initiated in 2012. For terrestrial habitats, it is based in particular on the analysis of vegetation surveys and focuses on level 3 habitats. This work is carried out by large groups of habitats and has led to the publication of the revised chapters concerning forest and heathland, shrubland and tundra (European Topic Center on Biological Diversity, 2017). For marine habitats, the revision concerns levels 2 to 4 and has led to a major restructuring that is nearly complete.


Hierarchical tree of the CORINE biotopes typology

Hierarchical tree of the classification of Palaearctic habitats

Hierarchical tree of EUNIS habitat classification

Download typologies tables

Download correspondence tables

EUNIS website (European Environment Agency)


Devillers P., Devillers-Terschuren J., Ledant J.-P. & coll., 1991. CORINE biotopes manual. Habitats of the European Community. Data specifications - Part 2. EUR 12587/3 EN. European Commission, Luxembourg, 300 p.

Bissardon M., Guibal L. & Rameau J.-C., 1997. Corine biotopes. Version originale. Types d'habitats français. ENGREF, Nancy, 217 p.

Devilliers P. & Devilliers-Terschuren J., 1996. A classification of Palaearctic habitats. Nature and environment, No. 78, Council of Europe, Strasbourg, 194 p.

Devillers P., Devillers-Terschuren J. & Vander Linden C., 2001. PHYSIS Palaearctic Habitat Classification. Updated to 10 December 2001. Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles, Bruxelles.

Louvel-Glaser J. & Gaudillat V., 2015. Correspondances entre les classifications d'habitats CORINE Biotopes et EUNIS. Mise à jour sur la base des correspondances de l'AEE. MNHN-DIREV-SPN, MEDDE, Paris, 119 p.

European Topic Centre on Biological Diversity, 2012. European Nature Information System (EUNIS) Database. Habitat types and Habitat classifications. ETC/BD-EEA, Paris.

European Topic Centre on Biological Diversity, 2017. EUNIS habitats classification 2017: forest, heathland, scrub and tundra habitats. ETC/BD-EEA, Paris.

Bajjouk T., Guillaumont B., Michez N., Thouin B., Croguennec C., Populus J., Louvel-Glaser J., Gaudillat V., Chevalier C., Tourolle J., Hamon D. et al., 2015a. Classification EUNIS, Système d'information européen sur la nature : Traduction française des habitats benthiques des Régions Atlantique et Méditerranée. Vol. 1. Habitats Littoraux. Réf. IFREMER/DYNECO/AG/15‐02/TB1, 231 p.

Bajjouk T., Guillaumont B., Michez N., Thouin B., Croguennec C., Populus J., Louvel-Glaser J., Gaudillat V., Chevalier C., Tourolle J., Hamon D. et al., 2015b. Classification EUNIS, Système d'information européen sur la nature : Traduction française des habitats benthiques des Régions Atlantique et Méditerranée. Vol. 2. Habitats subtidaux & complexes d'habitats. Réf. IFREMER/DYNECO/AG/15‐02/TB2, 337 p.

Louvel J., Gaudillat V. & Poncet L., 2013. EUNIS, European Nature Information System, Système d'information européen sur la nature. Classification des habitats. Traduction française. Habitats terrestres et d'eau douce. MNHN-DIREV-SPN, MEDDE, Paris, 289 p.