AA.J1B8 Baltic photic sand dominated by spikerush (Eleocharis spp.)


HELCOM RED LIST Biotope Expert Team

Textual description 

Baltic bottoms in the photic zone with at least 90 % coverage of sand. Sand has less than 20 % of mud/silt/clay fraction (<63 µm), and the proportion of sand (grain size 0.063–2 mm) exceeds 70% of the combined gravel and sand fraction. Submerged rooted plants, including plants with rhizoids (i.e. Charales) cover at least 10 % of the seabed, and more than other perennial attached erect groups. Out of the submerged rooted plants, spikerush constitutes at least 50 % of the biovolume.          

Physical environment       

Salinity range: <5 psu; Exposure range: sheltered; Depth range: down to about 2 meters

Characteristic species        

Eleocharis acicularis, E. parvula, E. uniglumis


Whole Baltic Sea

Anthropogenic threats

Anchorage and construction in sheltered bays and lagoons, overgrowth of meadows along the shoreline

Correspondence with other classification systems               

HELCOM 1998:

2.5 Sandy bottoms

2.5.2 Sublittoral photic zone Level bottoms dominated by macrophyte vegetation

EUNIS 2012:

A5 Sublittoral sediment

A5.5 Sublittoral macrophyte-dominated sediment

A5.54 Angiosperm communities in reduced salinity