|Scientific name||Juncus maritimus – Festuca rubra saltmarsh|
|Common name||Sea Rush – Red Fescue saltmarsh|
Download full pdf synopsis: SM5A
This saltmarsh community is dominated by thigh-high tussocks of Juncus maritimus and dense tufts of Festuca rubra, usually accompanied by some Agrostis stolonifera and Glaux maritima. Frequently found here are Plantago maritima and Leontodon autumnalis. Juncus gerardii, Cochlearia officinalis, Triglochin maritimum, Trifolium repens and Aster tripolium are occasional components. Oenanthe lachenalii is not frequent but is more often encountered in this community than elsewhere on the saltmarsh and is a reasonable indicator.
This is an upper marsh community that is infrequently inundated. Conditions are base-rich.
No sub-communities have been described for this community.
In community SM5B, Juncus maritimus usually dominates alone and Festuca rubra is only occasionally present. There is unlikely to be confusion with any other communities outside of this group.
Almost all examples of this vegetation qualify as EU HD Annex I habitat 1410 Mediterranean salt meadows. It is typically a species-poor community, but does support several 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.