AA.J1Q2 Baltic photic sand dominated by stable aggregations of unattached Fucus spp. (dwarf form)


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. No perennial attached erect gropu has a coverage  ≥ 10 %. Stable aggregations of unattached perennial vegetation covers at least 10 %, out of which Fucus spp.(dwarf form) constitutes at least 50 % of the biovolume.         

Physical environment       

Salinity range: <4.5 psu; Exposure range: sheltered to moderate; Depth range: down to about 5 meters, level bottoms

Characteristic species        

Fucus vesiculosus dwarf form (synonyme f. pygmaea)


Known from the coasts of Sweden and Germany

Anthropogenic threats

Eutrophication, anchorage and construction in sheltered bays and lagoons

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


 Related Information

This biotope has been listed as Endangered (EN) in the HELCOM Red List of Baltic Sea biotopes and habitats.

See the Biotope Information Sheet of AA.J1Q2