|Scientific name||Festuca rubra – Juncus gerardii saltmarsh|
|Common name||Red Fescue – Saltmarsh Rush saltmarsh|
Download full pdf synopsis: SM4B
This community is dominated by a mixture of Festuca rubra and Juncus gerardii, alongside which occur Glaux maritima, Plantago maritima and Triglochin maritimum as constants. Agrostis stolonifera is frequent and can on occasion be abundant. Also frequently found here are Armeria maritima and Aster tripolium, while Cochlearia officinalis and Leontodon autumnalis are occasional.
This is an upper marsh community that is infrequently inundated. Conditions are base-rich.
No sub-communities have been described for this community.
The abundance of Juncus gerardii serves to distinguish this community from the other Festuca rubra swards of group SM4. In SM6D, Juncus gerardii is also a key species, but in that community Agrostis stolonifera usually replaces Festuca rubra as the main grass species.
Almost all examples of this vegetation qualify as EU HD Annex I habitat 1330 Atlantic salt meadows. It is typically a species-poor community, but does contain some specialist species.
The main threat to this saltmarsh community is probably grazing by livestock. Sea-level rises as a result of climate change could potentially have an impact, particularly in areas susceptible to coastal squeeze.