This association includes open, often short-growing stands of Pinus sylvestris, at most sites without any shrub layer. The herb layer is very poor in species, containing the dwarf shrubs Calluna vulgaris, Vaccinium myrtillus and V. vitis-idaea. The moss layer by contrast is well developed with lichens of the genus Cladonia and Cetraria islandica, as well as several moss species. This association occurs on very nutrient-poor soils over sand, sandstone or weathered granite. Some stands are stable in the long term, but many have developed from other forest types as a result of nutrient depletion caused by grazing, litter raking, and also through the preference of pine in managed forests.