Scientific name Puccinellia maritima – Aster tripolium saltmarsh
Common name Common Saltmarsh-grass – Sea Aster saltmarsh
Community code SM2D

 

SM2D: Puccinellia maritima – Aster tripolium saltmarsh  SM2D: Puccinellia maritima – Aster tripolium saltmarsh  SM2D map: Puccinellia maritima – Aster tripolium saltmarsh

Download full pdf synopsis: SM2D

 

Vegetation

This saltmarsh community is strongly dominated by Puccinellia maritima, which can form dense mono-specific lawns. Usually, however, there is some Aster tripolium dotted throughout the sward. Salicornia agg.  is frequent, generally occurring where the sward is a bit more open. Plantago maritima, Triglochin maritimum, Glaux maritima, Spergularia media and Spartina agg. are occasional, as is Cochlearia officinalis. Where the Puccinellia has lodged, some of these other species may not be immediately apparent.

 

Ecology

This is a lower marsh community that is fairly frequently inundated. Conditions are base-rich.

 

Sub-communities

No sub-communities have been described for this community.

 

Similar communities

From the other communities in this group, community SM2D is chiefly differentiated by the dominance of Puccinellia maritima.

 

Conservation value

Almost all examples of this vegetation qualify as EU HD Annex I habitat 1330 Atlantic salt meadows. Where Sarcocornia perennis occurs, however, the vegetation is instead referable to habitat 1420 Halophilous scrub.  This rare species of the southeast is also listed on the Flora Protection Order, as is Puccinellia fasciculata. This is typically a species-poor community, but the species that are present are specialists.

 

Management

The main threats to this saltmarsh community are probably grazing by livestock and invasion by Spartina agg. Sea-level rises as a result of climate change could potentially have an impact, particularly in areas susceptible to coastal squeeze.